Mayor of central Ukrainian city shot dead

KIEV Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:37am EDT

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KIEV (Reuters) - The mayor of the central Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk was shot dead on Saturday and the house of another mayor in Lviv to the West was hit by fire from a grenade launcher, the Interior Ministry said.

Ukraine, fighting pro-Russian rebels in its east and dealing with the aftermath of an airliner crash, has undergone turmoil since November, when thousands protested against former President Viktor Yanukovich. He was toppled by the "Maidan" protests but areas of the country remain divided.

Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the country's Interior Minister, said the mayor of Kremenchuk, Oleh Babayev, was killed when a car pulled up to his own, and an unidentified person fired three shots from a gun with a silencer.

"It is well know that Oleh Babayev was supported by a significant number of people in Kremenchuk. During Maidan, he supported activists, who local police and the prosecutor wanted to imprison," Gerashchenko said on his Facebook page.

He added that a grenade launcher was fired overnight at the house of Lviv's mayor, Andriy Sadoviy, who was not home at the time. "Most probably these crimes are not connected," he said.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by John Stonestreet)

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