Spanish daily ABC reported in a front-page story on Saturday that the Catalan Government had attempted to acquire 850 military-grade weapons and 5.4 million rounds of ammunition for the Catalan Police (Mossos) in 2016 and had refused to explain to the Spanish Ministry of Defence why they wanted them.

Unnamed Spanish MoD sources cited by the newspaper said the request, made on October 31 last year, was "extremely high" compared to other policing requests for better weapons to deal with terrorist threats, and "raised alarms" at the Ministry of Defence.

The request was for 300 9mm submac...