Ukraine's PM warns protests of China evacuees may resume

NOVI SANZHARY, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian village where residents clashed with riot police and threw rocks at buses while protesting the local quarantine of people evacuated from China is under control but the unrest may continue, Ukraine's prime minister said Friday.

The daylong protests broke out after the government announced that more than 70 evacuees would spend two weeks in a sanatorium in the village of Novi Sanzhary to make sure they weren't infected with the virus from China.

Several hundred villagers put up road blocks, burned tires and hurled stones at buses arriving with the people evacuated from the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak. Ukrainian Health Minister Zoryana Skaletska voluntarily joined the evacuees for the 14-day quarantine to help assuage local residents' concerns.

Nine police officers and one civilian were hospitalized as a result of Thursday's turmoil, and 24 protesters were detained.

Addressing Ukraine's parliament Friday, Prime Minister Oleskiy Honcharuk warned that “provocations may continue” in order to “create panic, undermine trust of the people, sow discord among us.”

Honcharuk condemned the protests as “part of the information war" and said there was no reason for Ukrainians to fear for their safety. The evacuees are safe as well, he said.

Hundreds of Ukrainian National Guard troops guarded the sanatorium Friday, with more officers on standby, the Interior Ministry said. Local police actively patrolled the area, and so far no protests were reported.

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