Ferguson police shot during protest

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Two US police officers have been shot in Ferguson, a Missouri town hit by riots over the killing of an unarmed black teenager last year, Kazinform refers to BBC.com.

One officer was shot in the face and one in the shoulder, St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said.

Both suffered "very serious gunshot injuries" but were conscious, he said.

They were shot during a demonstration after the resignation of Ferguson's police chief, which followed a report alleging racial bias in his department.

Protesters had gathered outside Ferguson police headquarters late on Wednesday, in what was initially a relatively low-key demonstration.

But shortly after midnight at least three shots were fired as the crowd of protesters was starting to break up, Mr Belmar said.

He said he was assuming that "these shots were directed exactly at my police officers", rather than the officers being hit by stray bullets.

Several witnesses said the shots had come from a hill on the other side of the street from the crowd of protesters.

One protester, Keith Rose, said he saw an officer "covered in blood", and that other officers were carrying and dragging him, leaving a trail of blood on the ground.

Police had been keeping protesters in the area in order to take witness statements, he said.

Demonstrators were calling for further action to be taken over the federal report, and for more resignations in the police department, Mr Rose said.

Police chief Thomas Jackson was the sixth Ferguson official to be fired or step down. He had initially resisted calls from protesters and some state leaders to resign.

Mr Jackson was widely criticised after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August and the weeks of demonstrations that followed.

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