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Airport in east Ukraine's Donetsk shut after rebel raid

Published on May 26, 2014 2:58 PM

DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - The main airport in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk shut down on Monday after being raided by dozens of armed separatists who vowed to keep up their resistance a day after presidential polls.

"At 3.00 in the morning, a group of armed men came. There was no shooting and they demanded that soldiers guarding the perimeter of the airport be withdrawn," spokesman Dmytro Kosinov told AFP.

Mr Kosinov said the airport halted operations at 7.00 am (0400 GMT) and now appeared to be under control of gunmen who identified themselves as "representatives of the Donetsk People's Republic" that has proclaimed independence from Kiev.

An AFP reporter saw three trucks full of armed men in camouflage and some wearing orange-and-black St George ribbons representing an allegiance to Russia pass a police checkpoint and head toward the airport.

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