Dozens detained as police break up pro-EU rally in Ukraine

KIEV, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian police broke up pro-EU integration protests in the capital's downtown Kiev early Saturday and detained 35 demonstrators, according to the Interior Ministry.

"People were detained for resisting police officers and hooliganism," the ministry's press service said.

Witnesses said police rushed into the crowd at around 4.30 a.m. local time (0230 GMT), firing tear-gas and using truncheons to disperse thousands of protesters, who were demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych after the abortion of the signing of a landmark agreement with the European Union (EU).

Local media said dozens of people were injured, with some suffering injuries to their heads and arms.

Ukraine failed to ink a trade and association agreement with the EU during the two-day Eastern Partnership summit, which ended Friday in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

The Ukrainian government said last week it had suspended preparations for the signing of the association agreement with the EU during the summit, seen as a first step toward EU membership, and would form a tripartite trade commission with Russia and the EU instead.

The decision triggered waves of protests in central Kiev and other big Ukrainian cities.