Discuss as:

Replacing pickets with missiles: Spanish mining protests grow violent

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Miners run from tear gas fired by riot police officers as they try to defend their position inside the mine "El Soton" during clashes in El Entrego near Oviedo, Spain, on June 15. Strikes, road blockades, and mine sit-ins continue as 8,000 mineworkers at over 40 coal mines in northern Spain continue their protests against government action to cut coal subsidies.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Miners run away from tear gas fired by riot police officers, unseen, as they try to defend their position near the mine "El Soton" during clashes in El Entrego near Oviedo, Spain, on June 15.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Coal miners shout slogan against the police as they defend their positions near the mine "El Soton" during clashes in El Entrego near Oviedo, Spain, on June 15.

On Tuesday, AP reported -- Striking coal workers blocked roads with burning tires and fired missiles at police to stop them breaking up protests in northern Spain on Tuesday, officials from the recession-hit country said.

While some miners have remained underground for 23 days, thousands of others in the northern provinces of Asturias and Leon set tires alight — sending plumes of black smoke into the night sky — to highlight calls for negotiations on job cuts, said Anibal Vazquez, mayor of Mieres.

Read the complete story.

Eloy Alonso / Reuters

Coal miners fire a rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego, near Oviedo, northern Spain on June 15. The miners were protesting against the government's proposal to decrease funding for coal production.

Eloy Alonso / Reuters

A coal miner use a slingshot in a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego, near Oviedo, northern Spain on June 15. The miners were protesting against the government's proposal to decrease funding for coal production.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Miners fire handmade rockets at riot police officers, unseen, as they defend their positions near the mine "El Soton" during clashes in El Entrego near Oviedo, Spain, on June 15.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Coal miners are seen behind their handmade shields as they defend their position from riot police officers inside the mine "El Soton" during clashes in El Entrego near Oviedo, Spain, on June 15.