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Published: Wednesday February 19, 2014 MYT 12:36:05 AM
Updated: Wednesday February 19, 2014 MYT 12:37:05 AM

Ukraine's Klitschko says police could be readying to storm square

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko on Tuesday made an impassioned plea to President Viktor Yanukovich not to send in police to break up a peaceful protest on Kiev's Independence Square after a day of violence in other parts of the city.

Speaking on the square, the focal point of 12 weeks of unrest against Yanukovich that is known locally as the Maidan, Klitschko urged women and children to leave the area, saying: "We cannot exclude the possibility of use of force in an assault on the Maidan."

"We appeal to the president and security forces to end violent confrontation," he said.

Earlier, after violent clashes in another part of the city in which at least five people were killed, riot police broke through protesters' barricades and took up position right on the edge of the square.

(Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams)

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