70 more die in Ukraine protests - CBS46 News

70 more die in Ukraine protests

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A shaky truce crumbled Thursday morning, when gunfire erupted at Maidan, or Independence Square, which has been ground zero for anti-government protesters in Ukraine.(Source: Espreso TV/CNN) A shaky truce crumbled Thursday morning, when gunfire erupted at Maidan, or Independence Square, which has been ground zero for anti-government protesters in Ukraine.(Source: Espreso TV/CNN)

KIEV, UKRAINE (CNN) - A shaky truce crumbled Thursday morning, when gunfire erupted at Maidan, or Independence Square, which has been ground zero for anti-government protesters.

It's unclear what prompted the gunfire, but at least 70 people have been killed, according to the Associated Press. CNN crews at the scene reported that as security forces were moving away from the area, a group of protesters pursued them.

When the bullets flew, several demonstrators fell to the ground.The AP also reported government snipers had opened fire on the crowd.

A hotel lobby at one end of the square was converted into a triage center. Eleven bodies, covered in bloodied sheets, lay on the floor.

As police hastened their withdrawal, demonstrators rushed to fortify their barricades, which they then reignited.

The tent city was once again in their hands.

Meanwhile, the AP reports the White House has not reached a decision on whether to impose sanctions on Ukraine but that military intervention is not being considered.

More talks

Thursday's violent developments came hours after embattled President Viktor Yanukovych announced a truce by which opposition leaders had agreed to abide.

Later Thursday, European foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels.

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, a former world-class boxer, is expected to sit down once again Thursday with Yanukovych. Their meeting Wednesday led to the truce.

No one wanted to see a repeat of Tuesday's lethal violence and chaotic clashes that left 28 dead, police and protesters alike. It was the deadliest day of protests, which began in November when Yanukovych reversed a decision to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead turned toward Russia.

Dissatisfaction with the decision morphed into resentment of Yanukovych's closeness to Russia and an attack on his base of power. The protesters demand changes to the constitution that would hand some of it to the parliament.

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

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