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Unknown assailants clash with Maidan protesters in Kiev, 4 injured

July 07, 2014, 14:20 UTC+3 KIEV
“Maidan” and “Euromaidan” are collective synonyms for anti-government protests sparked last year when then President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the EU
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© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. At least four people were hurt on Sunday when a group of unidentified assailants opened fire on protesters occupying "Maidan", a central square in Kiev and focal point during months of social turmoil in Ukraine's capital, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

“It has been established that around midnight on Sunday, a group of 30 people wearing masks initiated conflict with the use of weapons with representatives of the so-called ‘Maidan Self-Defense’ on Independence Square,” the statement said. “As a result of the incident, four people were hospitalised, sustaining various-degree injuries.”

“Maidan” and “Euromaidan” are collective synonyms for anti-government protests sparked last year when then President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union pending further study of the deal's implications for the state.

Though Yanukovych was ousted and new President Petro Poroshenko was sworn in two months ago, Maidan protesters have refused to leave their tent camps on the square, saying that their demands have not been met even after the change of regime.

Kiev’s recently elected mayor, Vitali Klitschko, has urged protesters to vacate the square to open the way for traffic adding that the move to clear Maidan had to be voluntary and that the authorities would not resort to force in a bid to disperse the protesters.

“Maidan did what it had to do: The dictator was ousted and the country held democratic elections for president,” Klitschko said early last month, addressing an Independence Square rally.

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