02/20/2014 10:01 am ET Updated Feb 20, 2014

Ukraine Protesters Take 67 Policemen Hostage: Interior Ministry

KIEV, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian anti-government protesters are holding 67 policemen hostage in the capital, the country's interior ministry said on Thursday.

Earlier the ministry said "Berkut" riot policemen had been armed with combat weapons, an attempt to regain control of violent protests in which at least 50 people have died since Tuesday.

"To free the hostages police have the right to use their weapons," the ministry said in a statement posted to its website.

A further three policemen were unaccounted for, it said. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Andrew Heavens)