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16 suspected rioters at Ukrainian parliament building arrested

September 03, 2015, 8:43 UTC+3 KIEV
Three Ukrainian National Guard fighters were killed and 141 people were injured during riots near Ukrainian parliament on August 31
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© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, September 3. /TASS/. The Pechersk district court of Kiev has arrested 16 of the total 18 people detained following clashes with police near the building of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on August 31, Ukrainian interior minister’s adviser Zoryan Shkiryak said on Thursday.

"The court ruled to place under a two-month arrest without bail 16 people of the total 18 detained for illegal actions. One of them has been placed under house arrest. Another suspect is in hospital," Shkiryak wrote on his Facebook page.

It was reported previously that the arrested are suspected of committing, among others, such crimes a "terrorist act" and "the creation of a criminal organisation." Among those arrested is also Igor Gumenyuk, suspected of hurling a grenade at law enforces near the Verkhovna Rada building.

On Monday, August 31, more than 3,000 protesters against the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine picketed the national parliament building, where the lawmakers held a vote on the draft constitutional reform. Clashes occurred between the law enforcers and protesters. Protesters began storming the parliament, throwing smoke pellets at the law enforcers. Then a live grenade was thrown at the police cordon.

Three Ukrainian National Guard fighters were killed in the incident and 141 people were injured, including 131 policemen and National Guard fighters. The country’s interior minister has accused Ukraine’s nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party and its leader Oleg Tyagnibok of this fresh outbreak of violence. The Svoboda party said the grenade incident was a "provocation" aimed against Ukraine’s patriots.

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