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Moldova's Prosecutor Says Police Shot Bullets At Protesters

Police officers clash with demonstrators during anti-communist demonstrations in Chisinau on April 7.
Moldova's general-prosecutor says an investigation into postelection protests in Chisinau last spring shows that some special forces fired live ammunition, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Valeriu Zubco said today that an investigation has been launched into an alleged shooting incident that occurred in downtown Chisinau the night following the April 7 protests.

Prosecutors said a special force police officer opened fire on a passing car near the Presidential Office where the protests took place several hours before.

The report that live bullets were used contradicts previous accounts by former Communist Party authorities that no bullets were shot during the protests, which turned violent and left at least two dead.

Former President Vladimir Voronin, of the Communist Party, has long rejected suggestions that the police were allowed to use their guns on protesters.

The mass protests which saw the Presidential Office and the parliament building heavily damaged by angry protesters were followed by the arrest of more than 250 young people, many of whom were detained for several days or weeks and complained of abuse or ill-treatment while arrested.

After the pro-Western Alliance for European Integration won repeat elections on July 29 last year, the general-prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged acts of police abuse.