Home > News > World
Sunday May 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:02 AM
Sunday May 11, 2014 MYT 12:01:27 AM
KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Russian militants held eight Ukrainian and one Swiss Red Cross workers hostage for seven hours in the rebel eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, beating one before freeing them early on Saturday, a Red Cross official said.
A spokesman for the self-styled "Donetsk People's Republic", which is holding a referendum on Sunday on breaking with Kiev, said the workers had been detained on Friday evening by rebel activists on suspicion of espionage.
He could not clarify the nature of the accusations levelled against them or say where they had been held.
Jacques Barberis, deputy head of the International Red Cross mission in Ukraine and a Swiss national, said that he was in the group of nine volunteers from Donetsk and Kiev arrested in the Red Cross building in Donetsk.
Barberis said one person was beaten by militants.
"I can confirm one (person) was beaten, he is now at home ... others are well," he told Reuters by phone.
The treatment of the others from the group was "not bad," Barberis said, adding he and volunteers from Kiev should return to the Ukrainian capital by mid-day on Sunday.
Red Cross headquarters in Geneva said simply that there had been "some kind of incident last night".
Another Ukrainian Red Cross official in Kiev who asked not to be named, said that the institution had sent a report about the event to the Interior Ministry. He did not elaborate.
The Donetsk-based Novosti Donbassa website said the hostage takers had also seized large stores of medicine from the Donetsk office.
The Red Cross website said medication had been delivered on May 7 to Donetsk head office for distribution in the region, where there has been heavy fighting in recent days between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian security forces.
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Ralph Boulton)
No quick fix for latest 'wave of terror' - Israel's Netanyahu
EU gets tough on expelling migrants, talks to neighbours
Insight - Collision course with a hurricane: How doomed U.S. ship met its end
In India, a test for Modi's economic reforms and Hindu agenda
Myanmar official accuses China of meddling in rebel peace talks
U.N. to audit its dealings with entities tied to alleged bribe scheme
Wins for Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay in 2018 qualifiers
Maxis and Digi reveal iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pricing in Malaysia
Company gives RM700,000 for the benefit of 3,500 children
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)