Around 20 militia members killed, four captured in Mariupol - Ukrainian interior minister

Inhabitants of Mariupol (a city in southeastern Ukraine) reported on Friday about emergence of the Ukrainian armored machinery in the city, shooting took place in the downtown.

Around 20 militia members were killed and four were captured in Mariupol during the fight at the city police department and law enforcement authorities have one dead and five injured, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.

"About 20 terrorist have been killed and four have been captured. A significant part of the attackers fled to residential quarters, having left arms. Our losses are one dead and five injured. The losses among armed forces personnel are being specified," Avakov has just posted on his Facebook account.

On April 15, the Kyiv authorities launched a special operation with the use of the military in southeastern Ukraine, where pro-federalization supporters started rallies in March. Moscow condemned the use of force against protesters as dangerous. Confrontation was the strongest in Slavyansk in the north of the Donetsk region which is currently being controlled by the militia, and also in Kramatorsk and Mariupol.

According to the minister, a group of militiamen of around 60 people armed with automatic weapons attempted to attack the Mariupol city police department. "An attempt has been made to seize the building without any preliminary demands. A fight occurred in the building, which turned into a full-scale battle as reinforcement of the armed forces and the Omega subdivision of the National Guards approached. As a result of the fight, in which subdivisions of the National Guards and armed forces, and Azov special subdivisions of the Interior Ministry participated, a considerable share of the group of terrorists was killed," Avakov said.

The police department building is on fire, he said. Subdivisions, which participated in the forceful operation, received reinforcement from other regions, the minister said.

Meanwhile, according to the Mariupol self-defense forces, the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities tried to storm the police department, where police officers, who refused to obey orders from Kyiv, barricaded themselves. "Police employees were in the main internal affairs directorate at the moment of the fire. Law enforcement employees, including women, were evacuated urgently. Many had to jump from windows," local mass media outlets reported.

The Mariupol police department has burnt down completely, the portal reported citing posts of Verkhovna Rada Deputy Oleh Lyashko in social networks."Snipers have killed commander of the Dnipropetrovsk brigade Serhiy Demydenko. Commander of the National Guards unit Serhiy Sabynskiy has been wounded seriously. Mariupol police head Valeriy Androshchuk can not be found and he shot to the last," the portal reported.

Also Russia Today's freelance journalist was wounded in the fighting in Mariupol. "Our freelance reporter was wounded as the fighting was being filmed in Mariupol. He was wounded in the stomach, according to doctors, although he was wearing a bullet-proof jacket," Russia Today's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, said on Twitter.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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