Ukriane: At least 77 people die in Kiev clashes

Ukraine’s capital Kiev remains tense following a day of clashes between protesters and police that left dozens of people dead and many wounded, BBC reports.

In all, 77 people – including policemen – have been killed since the violence first flared up on Tuesday, Ukraine’s health ministry said.  By the latest Health Ministry estimates, 577 people have sought medical aid, although the actual number of people injured is believed to be much greater.

French, Polish and German foreign ministers held crisis talks with the government and opposition all night.

The EU decided on Thursday to impose sanctions on certain officials.

EU foreign ministers said in a statement that targeted sanctions would include asset freezes and visa bans, and would be introduced “as a matter of urgency”.

The White House Thursday expressed outrage at what it called “images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people.” President Obama is considering a range of sanctions options in response to mounting violence and deaths in Ukraine.

A White House statement called on President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw security forces and respect the right of peaceful protest.  Washington also is urging protesters to express themselves peacefully.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels to discuss the latest events in Ukraine.