Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2014 Contents At least 42 people were killed in a street
battle between supporters and opponents
of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended
with dozens of pro-Russian protesters
incinerated in a burning building, bringing
the country closer to war.
Pro-Russian rebels in the east freed seven
European military observers on Saturday after
holding them hostage for eight days, while
Kiev pressed on with its biggest military oper-
ation so far to reclaim rebel-held territory in
The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa,
ending in a deadly blaze in a besieged trade
union building, was by far the worst incident
in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended
with a pro-Russian president fleeing the coun-
try.The Odessa clashes spread the violence
from the eastern separatist heartland to an
area far from the Russian frontier, raising the
prospect of unrest sweeping more broadly
across a country of around 45 million people.
The Kremlin, which has massed tens of
thousands of soldiers on Ukraine s eastern
border and proclaims the right to invade to
protect Russian speakers, said the government
in Kiev and its Western backers were respon-
sible for the deaths.
Kiev said the violence was provoked by for-
eign demonstrators sent in from Transdniestria,
a nearby breakaway pro-Russian region of
Moldova where Moscow has a military gar-
Flowers for the dead
Yesterday morning, people placed flowers
near the burnt-out doors of the trade union
building, lighting candles and putting up the
yellow, white and red flag of the city.
About 2,000 pro-Russian protesters outside
the burnt-out building chanted "Odessa is a
Russian city." Events took a violent turn on
Friday when a column of soccer supporters,
chanting support for Ukraine s leaders, clashed
with men in black, some firing pistols. Clashes
then spread along the streets until rebels moved
into a large trade union building. Petrol bombs
were thrown and shots were heard.
The Odessa bloodshed came on the same
day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet
to reassert its control over separatist areas in
the east, hundreds of kilometres away, where
armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a
"People s Republic of Donetsk."
The rebels there aim to hold a referendum
on May 11 on secession from Ukraine, similar
to one staged in March in Ukraine s Crimea
region, which was seized and annexed by Rus-
sia in a move that overturned the post-Cold
War diplomatic order.
Unprecedented Odessa riots
Odessa, a vibrant multi-ethnic port city,
has seen some support for separatists, but
nothing like the riots that erupted on Friday.
Police said four people were killed, at least
three shot dead, and dozens wounded in run-
ning battles between people backing Kiev and
pro-Russian activists. The clashes ended with
separatists holed up in the trade union building.
At least 37 people died in the blaze. On Sat-
urday, police raised the death toll in the city
to 42, easily the biggest toll since about 100
people were killed in Kiev protests that toppled
pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich in
February. Odessa is located in the southwest
of Ukraine, far from the eastern areas held by
the rebels and far from the Russian frontier
where Moscow has amassed forces. But it is
close to Moldova s Transdniestria region, where
Russia also has troops. The spread of violence
to Odessa expands the zone of unrest across
the breadth of southern and eastern Ukraine.
Regional police chief Petro Lutsiuk said on
Saturday more than 130 people had been
detained and could face charges ranging from
participating in riots to premeditated murder.
Western countries accuse Russia of stoking
the separatism and fear Moscow could be
planning to repeat its annexation of Crimea
in other parts of Ukraine. Russia denies it has
such plans, while saying it could intervene if
necessary to protect Russian speakers. The
West has made clear it will not use military
force to protect Ukraine but will rely on eco-
nomic sanctions against Moscow to, in the
words of US President Barack Obama, change
Putin s "calculus." (Reuters)
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Relatives of victims killed in ethnic violence mourn at a burial ground at Narayanguri village, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam,
Saturday, May 3. AP PHOTO
42 killed in Ukraine riots
MEXICO CITY---Mexico's attorney
general says investigators have seized
39 metric tons of marijuana in Tijuana
across the border from San Diego,
A statement from the office says
that nearly 4,000 packets of drugs
were found in the Granjas Familiares
del Matamoros neighbourhood based
on a federal warrant. Mexican military
and Tijuana police conducted the raid.
There were no arrests.
The seizure occurred Thursday.
Tijuana is known for huge marijuana
seizures because of its proximity to the
US, including Mexico's largest to date:
134 metric tons found in 2010.
At least seven sophisticated tunnels
under the border have been found in
Roughly the same amount of
marijuana seized Thursday was found
outside the entrance of a tunnel
discovered in Tijuana in 2012. (AP)
44 tons of marijuana seized in Tijuana, Mexico
India deployed troops to the state of Assam
yesterday after 31 Muslims were gunned
down in three days of what police said were
attacks by tribal militants who resent the
presence of immigrants from neighbouring
The unrest in the tea-growing state comes
towards the end of a marathon election across
India that has heightened ethnic and religious
divisions and which the Hindu nationalist
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks set to win.
Security forces found the bodies of nine
people with bullet wounds on Saturday, six
of them women and children, the third day
of violence that police have blamed on Bodo
tribesmen attacking Muslim settlers as pun-
ishment for opposing their candidate in the
election to the Indian parliament.
Bodo people are followers of the local
"We are scared to live in our village, unless
security is provided by the government," said
Anwar Islam, a Muslim who had come to buy
food in Barama, a town about 30 km from
the villages in the Baksa district where the
violence erupted on Thursday and Friday.
He said men armed with rifles had come
to his village, Masalpur, on bicycles and had
then fired indiscriminately and set huts on
Bodo representatives say many of the Mus-
lims in Assam are illegal immigrants from
Bangladesh who encroach on ancestral Bodo
In 2012, clashes erupted in which dozens
of people were killed and 400,000 fled their
In addition to that violence, Assam has a
history of sectarian strife and armed groups
fighting for greater autonomy or secession
Soldiers in convoys of trucks mounted with
rifles were patrolling on Saturday in Baksa
district, where some of the attacks took place.
Bodies covered with white sheets were laid
out in a row at a police outpost on the edge
of Barama for identification by relatives.
Security forces found three children hiding
in forests near the border with China.
India s staggered voting concludes on May
12 and results are due to be announced on
May 16. (Reuters)
army in Assam
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