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Seven shot dead during Ukraine fishing trip

AFP logoAFP 2020-05-22

Seven people were shot and killed during an alcohol-fuelled fishing trip in central Ukraine, a rare mass shooting in the ex-Soviet country, police said on Friday.

Eight people from the capital Kiev went fishing on a lake in the neighbouring Zhytomyr region when a local host attacked the guests with his hunting rifle, said Ukraine's deputy interior minister Anton Gerashchenko.

The attack took place early on Friday when the local man -- a professional hunter -- reached for his rifle in the middle of an alcohol-fuelled quarrel and shot two of the guests.

KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 29, 2020 - People spend their time by a lake during the quarantine, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Ukrinform / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Olena Khudiakova/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images) © Ukrinform / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 29, 2020 - People spend their time by a lake during the quarantine, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Ukrinform / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Olena Khudiakova/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Then he shot and killed five more people who were sleeping in a shed on the bank of the lake near the village of Novoselytsya.

"He managed to shoot and kill seven people," Gerashchenko said in a statement on Facebook.

"Just one person -- upon hearing the shots -- managed to escape into the woods, reach the village and call police."

The suspect has been detained and faces life in prison, said Gerashchenko.

The cause of the argument was not immediately clear.

Aged between 30 and 50, the victims had previously fought as volunteers against Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine's war-torn east, local media reported. 

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