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Kiev protesters face off with police as president orders talks

Published on Jan 20, 2014 9:02 PM
 
Protesters hold Molotov cocktails during clashes with the police in the centre of Kiev on Jan 20, 2014. Opposition protesters were Monday locked in a tense standoff with Ukrainian police in Kiev after bloody clashes that wounded over 200 people, as President Viktor Yanukovych called emergency talks to resolve the crisis. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Opposition protesters were Monday locked in a tense standoff with Ukrainian police in Kiev after bloody clashes that wounded over 200 people, as President Viktor Yanukovych called emergency talks to resolve the crisis.

The clashes, the worst in Kiev in recent times, came amid mounting anger over laws restricting protests signed by Mr Yanukovych after almost two months of demonstrations against his refusal to sign a pact for integration with the EU.

A special commission set up by Mr Yanukovych was due to meet representatives of the opposition on Monday for emergency talks, but it was unclear if this could help ease the crisis, with parts of central Kiev resembling a battlefield.

In near apocalyptic scenes close to parliament and the iconic Dynamo Kiev football stadium, protesters torched several police buses and vehicles late Sunday.

 
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