Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said another group of gunmen also tried to take control of the Donetsk region's prosecutor's office but was repelled.

The early dawn raid on the police station happened in the town of Slavyansk -- about 60 kilometres north of the regional capital Donetsk.

The Donetsk administration centre is already under the control of several hundred gunmen who have proclaimed the creation of their own "people's republic" and called on
President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine.

"Armed men in camouflage fatigues have taken the police station in Slavyansk," Avakov wrote on his Facebook page. "Here, our response will be very severe."

A local police official told Kiev's private Channel Five television that the raid was staged by six men who had fired several shots into the air before storming the station.

It was not immediately clear how the local police responded to the attack or whether the gunmen had taken any hostages.

But Avakov said that Ukrainian special forces had been dispatched to the scene.

"There is zero tolerance for armed terrorists," he said.

The interior minister added that a separate group of assailants had tried to take control of the prosecutor's office building the regional capital Donetsk.

"They have all been expelled. The building has been clear of unauthorised personnel," he wrote.

"Another self-declared defence minister has been arrested," he added.

An AFP reporter saw a heavy police presence around the prosecutor's office and the building under apparent government control.

Avakov has emerged as one of the more hawkish ministers in the interim pro-Western leadership that toppled a Kremlin backed regime in Kiev in February and sought to link the ex-Soviet state's future with the West.


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