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Gunfire, heavy detonations heard near Ukraine rebel town

Published on May 2, 2014 1:22 PM
Ukrainian soldiers stand near a tank at a checkpoint near the south eastern Ukrainain city of Slavyansk on May 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SLAVYANSK, Ukraine (AFP) - Gunfire and heavy detonations were heard on Friday just outside Ukraine's rebel-held town of Slavyansk, in what the insurgents said was "a full-scale attack" by the Ukrainian military.

A helicopter was earlier seen circling low, said the rebels, who had set a roadblock on fire to produce cloaking smoke.

"This is a full-scale attack," said the spokesman in the town for the insurgents. She said the rebels had shot down a helicopter.

Journalists in the town were attempting to verify the information after hearing the heavy detonations just after dawn. An AFP reporter said the action appeared localised.

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