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SHOOTOUT IN MARIUPOL

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Three Killed, 13 Wounded in Firefight
By Harold Hutchison

A pro-Russian militia attempting to attack a Ukrainian military base in Mariupol was repelled after a firefight, leaving three people dead. The attack comes as Ukrainian forces continued an “anti-terrorism” operation.

According to media reports, the attacking militia, which could have numbered over 500, attacked the base in the port city with stun grenades and fire bombs. The Ukrainian troops returned fire, touching off a twenty-minute shootout. Some pro-Russian militias have seized Ukrainian armored vehicles.

The firefight comes as diplomatic efforts were trying to avoid the conflict from escalating. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly admitted that Russian troops were in Crimea prior to the that autonomous republic’s referendum on joining Russia. Crimea had been a part of Russia until Nikita Khrushchev gave Crimea to the Ukraine.

The crisis emerged after Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was forced out of office by massive protests that lasted for months after he refused to sign a trade deal with the European Union.

Check out these videos of the firefight in Mariupol: