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Ukraine vows firm response after rebels shoot down military plane

Published on Jun 15, 2014 7:40 AM
 
Pro-Russian separatists look through the debris of an IL-76 transporter which was taken down by pro-Russian rebels early on June 14, on the outskirts of Lugansk on June 14, 2014. Ukraine’s president promised a tough response on Saturday to pro-Russian separatists who shot down an army transport plane, killing 49 servicemen and dealing a blow to a military campaign to crush their uprising. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV/NOVOHANNIVKA, Ukraine (REUTERS) – Ukraine’s president promised a tough response on Saturday to pro-Russian separatists who shot down an army transport plane, killing 49 servicemen and dealing a blow to a military campaign to crush their uprising.

Newly installed Petro Poroshenko summoned security chiefs for consultations after the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile as it came in to land at an airport outside the city of Luhansk, a centre of the rebellion in east Ukraine.

“All those involved in cynical acts of terrorism of this magnitude must be punished,” he said, declaring Sunday a day of mourning for the nine crew and 40 paratroopers killed.

He later issued a separate statement saying he had called another meeting of his security chiefs for Monday, and that the armed forces had already intensified their operation – intended to prevent Ukraine breaking up.

 
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