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'Government snipers' kill protesters in Kiev.

DOZENS of protesters were reported killed by government snipers in the Ukrainian capital Kiev after they had hurled firebombs and advanced on police lines.

At least 70 died and hundreds were wounded according to an unconfirmed report from a protest doctor.

Video footage on Ukrainian television showed shocking scenes yesterday of protesters being cut down by gunfire, lying on the pavement as comrades rushed to their aid.

Trying to protect themselves with shields, teams of protesters carried bodies away on sheets of plastic or planks of wood.

One of the wounded, volunteer medic Olesya Zhukovskaya, sent out a brief Twitter message - "I'm dying" - after being shot in the neck. Dr Oleh Musiy, the medical co-ordinator for the protesters, said she was in serious condition after being operated on.

Protesters were also seen leading policemen with their hands held high around the sprawling protest camp in central Kiev.

Ukraine's Interior ministry says 67 police were captured in all - it was not clear how. An opposition MP said they were being held in Kiev's occupied city hall.

President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition protesters who are demand his resignation are locked in an epic battle over the identity of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West.

Parts of the country - mostly in its western cities - are in open revolt against Yanukovych's central government, while many in eastern Ukraine favour strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.

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Bodies of anti-government protesters are carried away in central Kiev, Ukraine yeserday
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EXUR
Date:Feb 21, 2014
Words:257
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