Rebels attack Ukraine military compound despite truce
Pro-Russian rebels launched an attack on Thursday on a Ukrainian irregular troops unit in the heart of the eastern industrial city of Donetsk, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
At least 200 gunmen surrounded a compound housing a unit of Ukraine's National Guard and opened fire, despite a temporary truce that had been accepted by both sides.
A witness told AFP that the rebels, who had pulled an armoured personnel carrier flying a Russian flag up to the compound, wanted the National Guard unit's immediate surrender.
"An ultimatum was issued by the fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic. The unit refused to leave. So (the rebels) opened fire," said Sergiy, 49, who said he supported the separatists' cause despite his son, a National Guard member, being stranded inside the compound.
The National Guard said in a statement that the rebels' initial attack had been repelled, and that none of its personnel had been killed or wounded.
It added that negotiations with rebel representatives were currently underway.
The National Guard unit that came under attack had not been involved in the government's 10-week campaign to stamp out the eastern insurgency, and was responsible for convoying prisoners in the region, witnesses said.
The truce is due to expire on Friday at 1900 GMT, and both Western powers and Russia are pressing the two sides to agree an extension.
© 2014 AFP