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Kiev Gay Pride March Attacked, 'Hooligans' Arrested: Ukraine Officials

by Reuters /  / Updated  / Source: Reuters
Image: Anti-gay protesters attack a policeman during a march organized by LGBT community in Kiev
Anti-gay protesters attack a policeman during the Equality March, organized by the LGBT community, in Kiev, UkraineSTRINGER / Reuters

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KIEV - Several dozen unknown assailants attacked a gay pride rally in Kiev on Saturday, throwing flares and wounding two policemen, a Reuters witness reported.

Organizers for 'KyivPride2015' said the march along the Dnipro river would go ahead despite warnings from city mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who advised the event be canceled because of a threat of violence from far-right groups.

Despite the presence of several hundred police in riot gear, the march of around 150 LGBT supporters carrying rainbow banners and placards came under attack and 25-30 "hooligans" were arrested, parliament member Serhiy Leshchenko said on Twitter.

Leshchenko said police had prevented any direct clashes between participants in the march and the attackers.

Ukrainian authorities have increased their support for LGBT rights since a new pro-European government came to power after last year's 'Maidan' street protests; but critics say homophobic attitudes remain widespread.

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