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Ukraine says separatists seize bus with OSCE observers

Published on Apr 26, 2014 1:41 AM

SLAVIANSK (REUTERS) - Armed separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk seized a bus carrying international observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Friday, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said.

The separatist leader in Slaviansk told reporters a problem has arisen when the observers tried to pass a separatist checkpoint, and that there was an Ukrainian "spy" among the group. But he did not say where they were.

The interior ministry in Kiev said the group, which included 7 OSCE representatives and five members of the Ukrainian armed forces, was being held in the building of the state security agency (SBU) in the city which has been occupied by pro-Russian separatists. "Negotiations are going on for their release," a ministry statement said.

Slaviansk, a city of around 130,000, has been for two weeks under the control of separatists who, like similar groups elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, oppose the central government in Kiev after the overthrow of a Kremlin-backed president.

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