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By Peter Graff and Andrew Osborn KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Warning shots were fired to prevent an unarmed international military observer mission from entering Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea, as new confrontations between Russian and Ukrainian troops raised tension ever higher. Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, which began about 10 days ago, has so far been bloodless, but its forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainian troops, who are trapped in bases and have offered no resistance. Tempers have grown hotter in the last two days, since the region's pro-Moscow leadership declared it part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm it. A spokeswoman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said no one was hurt when shots were fired to turn back its mission of more than 40 unarmed observers, who have been invited by Kiev but do not have permission from Crimea's pro-Russian separatist regional authorities.
Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - Concern was mounting Saturday over the safety of journalists in Crimea after reports that Ukrainian reporters were beaten by pro-Russian militants and an international television crew had its equipment seized. Ukraine's Channel 5 television reported that its journalists were among several beaten by pro-Russian militants late Friday as they covered a confrontation at a Ukrainian air force base in Sevastopol. Pro-Russian militia in Crimea have often been confrontational with Ukrainian and international journalists, whom they accuse of working for foreign powers against Moscow. Other reports have emerged of journalists being attacked, including an incident that reportedly took place outside parliament in Simferopol on Thursday.