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At least 5 dead, scores injured in Ukraine clashes

At least five anti-government protesters have died and scores of others injured in clashes with police outside the Ukrainian parliament building in central Kiev, opposition sources say.

Five protesters were shot dead near the parliament building during Kiev’s worst clashes for more than three weeks, said Oleh Musiy, a top medic for the protesters.

Reports say over 47 police officers and 150 protesters were also injured in the clashes on Tuesday.

This is while anti-government protesters briefly seized the ruling party headquarters in Kiev on Tuesday.

Violent clashes erupted after opposition lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to pass constitutional changes stripping President Viktor Yanukovych of some of his powers.

Russia said the policies of Western countries have contributed to the latest clashes between pro-EU protesters and police.

The United States and the European Union have traded accusations with Russia, each side blaming the other of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs by attempting to impose their own choices on the country.

The crisis began late last year after President Yanukovych pulled out of a deal with the EU, which could have paved the way for Kiev to join the bloc.

Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 29, 2013, after EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.

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