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Police: 31 dead in protest-linked Odessa fire

A Ukrainian government supporter holds a stone and a stick during a clash with pro-Russians in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine, Friday, May 2, 2014. A clash broke out late Friday between pro-Russians and government supporters in Odessa, on the Black Sea coast some 550 kilometers (330 miles) from the turmoil in the east. Odessa had remained largely untroubled by unrest since the February toppling of pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych, which ignited tensions in the east. (AP Photo/Sergei Poliakov)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Police in the Ukrainian city of Odessa say 31 people have died as the result of a building fire that broke out during a clash between pro-Russia demonstrators and supporters of the central government in Kiev.

The statement said the fire broke out in a trade union building on Friday, but did not give details on how it started. An earlier police statement put the death toll at 38; it was not clear why the figure was revised.

Police earlier said at least three people had died in a clash between the two sides.

Until now, Odessa, a key port on Ukraine's southern Black Sea coast, had largely been free of the unrest that is gripping eastern parts of Ukraine in recent weeks.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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