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23 September 2017
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Conflicting reports on death toll of police friendly fire in Kniazhychi

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has announced that six law enforcement officers were killed in the village of Kniazhychi in Kyiv region's Brovary district, according to 112 Ukraine TV channel despite earlier statement by Ukraine police on five officers killed.

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"A terrible tragedy occured in the night from Saturday to Sunday: six law enforcement officers were killed in the village Kniazhychi in Kyiv's Brovary district," Parubiy said while opening a meeting of the Rada's Conciliation Board Monday.

He noted that the police officers risk their lives every day and the victims' families need support.

"On behalf of all MPs and our conciliation board, I express condolences to the families of law enforcement officers. I hope, a transparent investigation will establish the cause of this great tragedy," Parubiy said.

At the same time, the police once again said that the number of officers killed in a tragedy amounts to five people.

"If someone talks about the sixth victim, let them call the [victim's] name and show us where [that victim] is," Head of the Communications Department of the Interior Ministry Artem Shevchenko told UNIAN.

As UNIAN reported earlier, five members from different state law enforcement agencies were shot dead in a fiendly fire incident between police and the State Guard Service, a police force that protects property, in the village of Kniazhychi in the early hours of December 4.

Undercover police officers from the criminal investigation department and a SWAT team were conducting surveillance nearby the house that was about to be robbed, according to a police tip, assisting the raid aimed to detain the burglars. At some moment, an alarm went off in a house nearby, prompting the arrival of a State Guard Service response team. The latter detained the undercover cops, having mistaken them for the burglars.

Poroshenko on friendly fire incident: "Police needs public support"In a row pf mutual misunderstanding and lack of coordination, the special-ops officers believed the criminals had captured their undercover colleagues and opened fire. Two State Guard Service officers, two undercover police officers, and a SWAT team member were killed in a shootout involving automatic guns.

Upon hearing gunshots, the suspects who were to be caught red-handed on that day gave up their plan and fled the scene.

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