Ukrainian Guardsmen Fire on Crowd During Disputed Referendum

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Image: Election officials sort through a pile of "yes" votes for independence for eastern Ukraine
Election officials sort through a pile of "yes" votes for independence for eastern Ukraine at a polling station following voting on May 11, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine.John Moore / Getty Images

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Ukrainian national guardsmen fired on a crowd Sunday in eastern Ukraine, where voters were lining up for a disputed referendum on whether to split from rest of the country.

An insurgent leader was quoted by the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass as saying that there were fatalities.

The Associated Press reported that one of its photographers witnessed the shooting, in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, where dozens of guardsmen had shut down voting earlier in the day.

The photographer saw two people motionless on the ground, the AP reported.

The ballots seek approval to declare sovereign the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where armed pro-Russia insurgents have taken control of government buildings and clashed with Ukrainian troops.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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