Two policemen and seven protesters have been killed in Ukraine after demonstrations that saw the party headquarters of embattled President Viktor Yanukovych attacked.
It came as a deadline passed for anti-government protesters to end a violent stand-off with riot police in Kiev, with the security forces threatening to take “grave actions”.
“If unrest has not ended by 6pm (4pm UK time) we will be forced to introduce order through all legal means,” Ukraine’s interior ministry and state security agency said in a joint statement.
Former heavyweight boxer and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko made an impassioned plea to Mr Yanukovych to not send in police to break up a peaceful protest on Kiev’s Independence Square, after a day of violence in other parts of the city.
He urged women and children to leave the area because of the threat of force being used.
Opposition medics said more than 150 people were injured in Tuesday’s violence, of whom 30 are in a serious condition.
The interior ministry said a policeman died after being shot in the neck during clashes.
Several hundred demonstrators had stormed and briefly seized the ruling party’s building.
After throwing petrol bombs, they smashed their way inside but later withdrew as smoke billowed from windows…. see more