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At least 19 policemen and protesters were killed as of midnight Tuesday in violent clashes in the Ukraine.

At least 19 policemen and protesters were killed and dozens were injured in violent clashes Tuesday before police began an assault on the main protest camp in Kiev where demonstrators have been deployed since November.

More than seven of those killed were policemen, and well-trained demonstrators used rocks and firebombs to beat back police attempts to disperse them.

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President Viktor Yanukovych, who has refused demands to resign despite charges of blocking reforms, and authorities shut down Kiev’s metro to prevent possible attacks by protesters.

The violence has spread to cities outside of Kiev and is continuing into the middle of the night.

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