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Police, protesters wage 'war' in deadly Kiev clashes

Published on Feb 19, 2014 9:53 AM
 
Kiev's occupied Independence Square was engulfed in flames on early Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014, 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. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

 
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