Ukraine Reports 4 Deaths, 30 Injured Troops in Slaviansk Clashes
KIEV, May 5 (RIA Novosti) – Four Ukrainian security officers were killed and over 30 injured in deadly clashes as Ukraine's armed forces tightened their grip Monday on the restive eastern city of Slaviansk, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.
"From the Interior Ministry's forces there are four dead and around 30 injured," the ministry said in a statement.
"There are also injured among the local population. The battle is still continuing at this time," the statement said, adding that gunfire was also hitting residential areas.
RIA Novosti's correspondent on the ground earlier reported at least 10 casualties among the locals. All of the injured are said to have gunshot wounds and are in critical condition.
The number of the wounded among the civil population has been rising steadily as Ukrainian troops clashed with self-defense activists Monday at a roadblock on the outskirts of Slaviansk.
At least one civilian — a woman who stepped out on her balcony as the skirmish commenced — was killed by gunfire. Reports from the ground spoke of artillery shots near the city.
Protesters have been rebuilding the barricades around Slaviansk overnight as Ukrainian troops encircled the city in a bid to wrest control from pro-referendum demonstrators and self-defense forces.
Last Friday, the interim authorities in Kiev declared an active phase of their 'anti-terrorist' operation against pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Kiev to immediately halt the crackdown, saying it was a breach of its responsibilities under the April 17 Geneva accords providing for the de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and has jeopardized the implementation of the agreement.
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