World News

May 4, 2014 3:08 PM by Associated Press

Odessa police free 67 detained after deadly clashes

ODESSA, Ukraine (AP) - Hundreds of pro-Russian demonstrators have stormed police headquarters in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and won the release of 67 people detained after deadly clashes last week.

More than 40 people died in the riots in Odessa on Friday. Some died of gunshot wounds but most perished in a fire that tore through a trade union building after government supporters and opponents lobbed Molotov cocktails at one another.

Hundreds gathered outside the scorched trade union building today to honor those who died. Some draped a large Russian tricolor flag on the face of the building.

A group of several hundred people marched to the police station to demand the release of fellow activists jailed over their involvement in the unrest. They attacked security surveillance cameras and smashed windows.

Shortly after some of them managed to break into an inner courtyard, police yielded to the crowd's demands and released the prisoners.

As detainees emerged from the police station, the crowd cheered.

The Interior Ministry says 67 activists were released. It's not clear whether others were still being held.

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