Deadly Blast Outside Ukraine Parliament

Deadly Blast Outside Ukraine ParliamentDeadly Blast Outside Ukraine Parliament

A grenade exploded outside Ukraine’s Parliament during a nationalist protest against a vote to give greater powers to separatist regions in the east, killing one police officer, the interior ministry said. About 100 other officers were injured in the clashes, 10 of them seriously. Some of the officers were injured in the blast. One of them died from shrapnel wounds, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said, AP reported.

No injuries were immediately reported among the approximately 100 protesters, most of whom were members of Svoboda, a nationalist party that holds only a handful of seats in parliament. The protesters were carrying sticks and truncheons. Some of them were masked.

Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko described the clashes as “a bloody provocation” and called for the prosecution of the attackers. Avakov said about 30 people were detained, including the person who threw the grenade.

The decentralization of power was a condition of a truce signed in Minsk in February aimed at ending the fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russia separatists that has left more than 6,800 dead.  But some Ukrainians oppose changing the constitution, saying that it would threaten the country’s sovereignty and independence.

A total of 265 deputies in the 450-seat parliament gave preliminary approval Monday to the changes proposed by President Petro Poroshenko. Three parties that are part of the majority coalition in parliament, however, opposed the constitutional changes.