Pro-Ukraine forces clash with separatists near Donetsk

ByREUTERS
May 23, 2014 10:43



KIEV - Armed pro-Russian separatists ambushed a convoy of Ukrainian self-defense fighters near Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk on Friday, two days before a presidential election, and some soldiers have been wounded, military sources said.



"They (the separatists) are using automatic weapons, snipers and grenade launchers against the battalion," Semen Semenchenko, the commander of a pro-Ukrainian militia group called the Donbass region battalion, said on his Facebook page.



Yuri Bereza, the commander of pro-Ukrainian self-defense forces in a nearby region who had headed to the scene, told Reuters by telephone: "The fighting is still going on, we are evacuating the wounded." He gave no figure for the wounded.



On Thursday, at least 13 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in a firefight with rebel gunmen south of Donetsk, an industrial hub where the separatists have proclaimed a 'people's republic' and have vowed to disrupt Sunday's presidential election.

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