8 dead as police storm Ukraine protest camp | Inquirer News
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8 dead as police storm Ukraine protest camp

/ 04:14 AM February 19, 2014

Anti-government protesters clash with riot police outside Ukraine’s parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Ukraine’s festering political crisis took a deadly turn Tuesday, as thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with police outside Ukraine’s parliament. Police said that a third policeman had died in the clashes, bringing to eight the number of people killed by the violence. AP PHOTO/SERGEI CHUZAVKOV

KIEV, Ukraine—Police on Tuesday launched an assault on the main anti-government protest camp on Kiev’s Independence Square after the bloodiest clashes in almost three months of anti-government demonstrations, AFP journalists at the scene said.

Police said that a third policeman had died in the clashes, bringing to eight the number of people killed by the violence.

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Flames tore through the protest camp as armored water cannon trucks rammed into protestors while riot police followed behind lobbing stun grenades as the iconic square descended into a war zone.

Demonstrators responded by throwing a hail of Molotov cocktails and rocks at security forces, and setting fire to part of the sprawling tent encampment where they had been demanding President Viktor Yanukovych leave power.

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Police warned women and children through loudspeakers to leave the area as the assault began, saying that they were launching “an anti-terrorist” operation. An estimated 25,000 people remained on the square.

Speaking from a stage in the square as the assault was continuing opposition, leader Vitali Klitschko declared that protestors were “not going anywhere.”

“This a small island of freedom,” the former heavyweight boxer said.

Klitschko added that Yanukovych had called him offering negotiations but had been told to first withdraw the riot police.

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TAGS: EU, opposition, Police, Russia, Ukraine, Unrest
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