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Pro-Russian activists attacked a pro-Kiev rally in Crimea with clubs and whips on Sunday as thousands took to the streets across Ukraine in rival demonstrations, escalating separatist tensions in the troubled ex-Soviet state. Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk vowed Ukraine would not cede "an inch" of its territory to Moscow after Russian forces and pro-Kremlin gunmen took over the Black Sea peninsula. "This is our land," Yatsenyuk told a crowd of several thousand in the capital that was also attended by Russian former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in prison in Russia and is a top critic of President Vladimir Putin. The standoff in Crimea has set Europe and the United States against Russia over Ukraine's future in the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War.
Hilla (Iraq) (AFP) - A suicide bomber killed 34 people, including two state television employees, at a checkpoint near Baghdad Sunday, after Iraq's premier accused Riyadh and Doha of fuelling bloodshed in the country. Iraq has been hit by a year-long surge in violence that has reached levels not seen since 2008, driven principally by widespread discontent among its Sunni Arab minority and by the civil war in neighbouring Syria. The suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged minibus during morning rush hour at a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Hilla, the confessionally mixed but mostly Shiite capital of Babil province south of Baghdad.