Landmine kills 7 Ukrainian soldiers

2015-06-08 21:59


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Donetsk - At least seven Ukrainian servicemen died on Monday when their truck hit a mine planted by pro-Russian insurgents in the war-torn country's separatist east, a Kiev military spokesperson told AFP.

"The roads in this area are mined by the enemy," Yevgen Silkin said by telephone, adding that the incident occurred about 20km west of the militants' de facto capital Donetsk.

Rebel officials issued no immediate comment.

Silkin said the incident occurred outside the 16 000-strong town of Krasnogorivka, next to another town called Marinka where heavy fighting claimed more than 20 lives last week.

Road blasts like the one reported on Monday have occurred throughout the 14-month conflict. Civilian vehicles have also been hit by stray shells and artillery fire on several occasions.

More than a dozen civilians were killed in January when their bus was sprayed by shrapnel from a missile that Kiev said was launched by rebel forces.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held up a piece of the shattered bus during an emotional speech at the Davos Economic Forum a few days later to highlight the growing civilian toll of the war.

The United Nations estimates the conflict has killed at least 6 400 people and driven more than a million from their homes.

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