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Minister: Kharkiv protesters driven out

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MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine’s interior minister says pro-Russia demonstrators who seized the regional administration building in the country’s second-largest city have been driven out of the building and about 70 of them were arrested.

Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page that an “anti-terrorist operation” was launched in the city of Kharkiv early Tuesday. He did not specify what forces took part. The Interfax news agency cited the head of the region, Igor Baluta, as saying it included police and soldiers.

The protesters were calling for a referendum on seceding from Ukraine.

Pro-Russia demonstrators also seized the administration building in Donetsk and called for a referendum.

Both cities are in Ukraine’s east, where hostility is strong toward the government that took power in February after the ouster of Kremlin-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych.

Associated Press

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