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49 Ukraine troops dead as rebels shoot down military plane, says govt

Published on Jun 14, 2014 2:26 PM
 
Ukrainian troops ride in the back of a pick-up truck in the eastern port city of Mariupol on June 13, 2014. Forty-nine Ukrainian military personnel were killed when rebels shot down a cargo plane during the night over the airport of the eastern city of Luhansk, a military spokesman said on Saturday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV/DONETSK (REUTERS) - Forty-nine Ukrainian military personnel were killed when rebels shot down a cargo plane during the night over the airport of the eastern city of Luhansk, a military spokesman said on Saturday.

Luhansk is one of the centres of a pro-Russian separatist movement in Ukraine's east which has risen up against the pro-European government in Kiev.

"On the night of June 13-14, the terrorists...fired from an anti-aircraft weapon and a large calibre machine gun, shooting down an Il-76 military transport aircraft ... as it was about to land," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

It gave no death toll but a military spokesman, Mr Vladislav Seleznyov, later said by telephone that 49 had been killed.

 
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