Police, protesters wage 'war' in deadly Kiev clashes
KIEV (AFP) - Flames engulfed Kiev's occupied Independence Square on Wednesday as police stormed the main protest camp in a bloody escalation of Ukraine's three-month political crisis which left at least 16 people dead.
A defiant President Viktor Yanukovych refused a chorus of calls from global leaders to halt the ferocious assault on the bloodiest day since protests broke out in November, when he ditched a pact with the EU in favour of closer ties with former Soviet master Russia.
The scene was apocalyptic as explosions echoed around central Kiev and the iconic square turned into a war zone.
Helmeted protesters hurling rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails fought back against black-armoured riot squads targeting them with stun grenades and water cannon.