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Shrouded in smoke, Kiev becomes battle zone

Published on Jan 23, 2014 1:33 AM

KIEV (AFP) - Shrouded in smoke and tear gas and echoing with the din of stun grenades and drums, the centre of Kiev turned into a battle zone amid deadly clashes between security forces and protesters.

Police launched the first assault against stone-throwing protesters in the morning, marching forward as a military formation clad in body armour with their shields in front.

Protesters stepped up their attacks, flinging stones and Molotov cocktails but could do little against the tear gas and stun grenades used by the elite Berkut riot police who also fired rubber bullets.

Hundreds of hardcore protesters regrouped after being pushed from the main scene of the clashes, burning tyres in a bid to create a new barricade and filling the air with rancid black smoke.

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