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Ukraine crisis: UN envoy in Crimea detained by gunmen

Published on Mar 6, 2014 1:37 AM

KIEV (AFP) - UN envoy Robert Serry was detained briefly by unidentified gunmen in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea, a spokesman for Ukraine's foreign ministry told AFP Wednesday.

"His vehicle was blocked in Simferopol by unknown gunmen," Yevgen Perebyinis told AFP. "They tried to take him to the airport by force but he refused." The United Nations in New York said he was threatened by gunmen but denied he had been kidnapped, as reported by some media.

One journalist who said he was with him tweeted that he was held in a coffee shop, with men outside preventing him from leaving.

"UN special advisor Robert Serry had been visiting navy commander when his car was blocked. Stand off followed," said James Mates, a reporter for British channel ITV.

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