Four Ukrainian troops killed in offensive on rebel-held town: officials

5th May 2014, Comments 0 comments

Four Ukrainian troops were killed and 30 wounded in intense fighting around the rebel-held town of Slavyansk on Monday that also saw a military helicopter shot down, Kiev's government said.

The interior ministry gave the heavy casualty toll and added that the pro-Russian gunmen controlling the town were using civilians as human shields and were shooting from houses, some of which were on fire.

It said there were civilian casualties but did not provide a toll.

The defence ministry said an Mi-24 helicopter gunship was brought down near Slavyansk by heavy machine gun fire while on a combat mission. The pilots survived, it said.

It was the third helicopter lost since the Ukrainian military launched its offensive on the rebels in Slavyansk. Last Friday, the rebels brought down two other Mi-24s with what Ukrainian officials said were shoulder-launched missiles.

© 2014 AFP

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