KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Armed gunmen seized two government buildings in Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea Thursday and raised the Russian flag on the roofs of both buildings, while rallies in the pro-Russian region turned deadly.
The buildings seized house the Crimean parliament and government. A Crimean parliament spokesman said the unidentified men broke into the parliament and ordered the security guards to leave. A barricade made of wood, garbage cans, and other materials blocks the main entrance.
Police have cordoned off the parliament building and established a perimeter outside the government headquarters building.
Crimea's Health Ministry reported two deaths and 35 injuries at a demonstration near the Supreme Council of Crimea in Simferopol, Ukraine.
"Two people have died. The injuries include cranio-cerebral injuries, concomitant injuries, and blunt abdominal injuries."
[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]