Ukraine: 19 troops killed by rebels

Members of the pro-Russia Vostok Battalion assemble along the side of the road following early morning clashes with pro-Ukraine fighters in Pisky, Ukraine.  (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
Pro-Russian fighters regroup after a clash with pro-Ukraine fighters in Pisky, Ukraine. (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/11 11:15 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — There's been a deadly attack today on Ukrainian troops by pro-Russia rebels. Ukraine's Defense Ministry says rebels fired missiles at government troops near the Russian border, killing at least 19 servicemen.

The statement revised an earlier ministry report of 30 troops killed in the pre-dawn attack at a forward operating base. Rocket attacks on army encampments and checkpoints have become an almost daily occurrence.

The Defense Ministry adds that four other troops died elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian government troops have been fighting for more than three months against separatists in eastern Ukraine. In the last two weeks, however, they have cut the territory held by the rebels in half and forced them out of their stronghold in the city of Slovyansk (SLAHV'-yansk). The rebels have since regrouped in Donetsk (dah-NETSK'), an eastern industrial city of 1 million, and Ukraine has vowed to cordon the area.


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