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Ukrainian military helicopter shot down, 14 dead

By The Citizen
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At least 14 people, including a general, were killed Thursday when a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down by 'terrorists' near Slovyansk, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told parliament.

Turchynov said the chopper, which was carrying soldiers for a troop rotation, was shot down using a Russian rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Militants in the rebel stronghold claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter, a spokesman for the militants said. The aircraft had flown there from Kramatorsk, he said, where the Ukrainian military has a substantial presence.

The large loss of life will be a major blow to the Ukrainian military, which on Monday toughened its approach to the separatist movement when it launched a fierce assault on militants who'd taken control of part of Donetsk airport.

Also in Slovyansk, the self-declared mayor told CNN that pro-Russia separatist militants are holding four European observers who have been missing since Monday.

But he declined to say where exactly. CNN