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Ukraine to disband riot police over alleged violence

English.news.cn   2014-02-26 20:50:08

KIEV, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine would disband the Berkut special police force over alleged violence against protesters during the recent unrest, interim Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced early Wednesday.

Avakov said in a statement he signed a decree Tuesday to dissolve the 4,000-strong Berkut.

Protesters have blamed Berkut officers for the violent dispersal of peaceful rallies, which started in November to back Ukraine's European integration.

Experts here say violence by Berkut against protesters was one of the main catalysts for escalating the violence.

Riot police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse demonstrators.

Clashes intensified last Tuesday, leaving at least 82 people dead and hundreds injured.

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Editor: Lu Hui
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