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Ukrainian PM blames protesters for deaths in central Kiev

English.news.cn   2014-01-22 23:33:22

KIEV, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov denied riot police officers involvement in deaths of protesters in central Kiev early Wednesday, saying that demonstrators are responsible for the casualties.

"The casualties are on the conscience and on the responsibility of the organizers and some participants of the riots," Azarov told a government meeting.

Azarov described participants of unrest as "terrorists" and "extremists" , and pledged to punish those who were threatening the lives of ordinary citizens.

The Prime Minister added that the riot police bear no relation to the deaths of protesters as the officers who work at the site have no firearms.

At least two demonstrators were reported to have been killed in Kiev on Wednesday morning during clashes with officers. The country's General Prosecutor Office said that the people have been shot dead.

Local media have also said that another protester, a 22-year-old student wounded during clashes on Sunday, died in hospital on Wednesday night. However, there was no official confirmation on the case yet.

On Wednesday morning, demonstrators attacked police with sticks and "Molotov cocktails" , while officers responded with stun grenades.

The incident marked the fourth day of confrontations between police and protesters, angry at a new legislation which bans the wearing of masks and helmets during public assembly and allows a jail term of up to five years for those who block public buildings.

Since last weekend, over 300 people have been injured during the unrest in central Kiev.

Protests in Ukraine began on Nov. 21, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.

Editor: yan
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