Ukraine guardsmen open fire on crowd as rebels hold ‘self-rule’ vote

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from FoxNews,

Ukrainian national guardsmen opened fire Sunday on a crowd outside a town hall in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian separatists went ahead with scheduled “self-rule” referendums in two regions, inviting further condemnation from the Kiev government and its Western allies.

Polls opened at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. EDT) in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and were scheduled to close at 10 p.m. (3 p.m. EDT). A pro-Russian election official in Donetsk described the turnout to Fox News as “colossal.”

“What do you expect,” he asked, “when people are shooting at us?”

The voting took a bloody turn when Ukrainian national guardsmen fired on a crowd outside a town hall in Krasnoarmeisk, and an official with the region’s insurgents told The Associated Press there were deaths. It was not immediately clear how many.

Witnesses to the shooting posted a number of videos on YouTube. One of the videos shows several armed men holding AK-47s yelling to the crowd “go home, get out of here.” One then cocks his weapon, and seconds later a man from the crowd steps forward and approaches another gunman, also carrying an AK-47, to speak with him. The gunman fires a warning shot over his head, but that doesn’t deter the man. He continues to approach as shots continue and the man is struck by a bullet, falls to the ground and can be seen bleeding from his leg.

The video, shot by someone at the scene of the confrontation, has been authenticated based on accounts by AP journalists at the site and was consistent with AP’s own reporting on what happened.

The shooting took place hours after dozens of guardsmen shut down the voting in the town.

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