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Ukrainian protesters set fire to ruling party's headquarters

Ukrainian protesters set fire to ruling party's headquarters
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 8:39am

Ukrainian protesters set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Party of Regions in Kiev on Tuesday as the capital deals with its first wave of violence in more two weeks.

Months of protests in the country boiled over into fresh clashes in the capital, where at least seven police officers were injured, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said.

Multiple injuries among protesters were also reported, the protest medical office said.

Thousands of demonstrators have packed Kiev's Independence Square since November, when President Viktor Yanukovych reversed a decision to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead turned toward Russia.

The unrest intensified after an anti-protest law went into effect. Throngs of demonstrators took to the streets to protest the law.

More than 2,000 people have been injured during clashes.

A sliver of hope emerged Sunday after the government and anti-government protesters reached an amnesty deal. The government agreed to drop charges against arrested demonstrators in exchange for protesters leaving Kiev's City Hall and unblocking streets in the city center, which they had occupied for almost three months.

The new violence Tuesday came after opposition members failed to get a vote in Parliament that would limit the rights of the President and amend the constitution to the way it was in 2004. But the speaker of the Parliament would not let opposition members register those amendments. 

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