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Ukrainian military helicopter shot down, 14 dead

Ukrainian military helicopter shot down, 14 dead

PanARMENIAN.Net - Pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine have shot down a military helicopter near Sloviansk, killing 14, outgoing President Olexander Turchynov said, according to BBC News.

The aircraft was reportedly hit after dropping off troops at a military base.

The town of Sloviansk has seen fierce fighting between separatists and government forces in recent weeks.

President-elect Petro Poroshenko has vowed to tackle the uprising in eastern Ukraine, saying he would deal firmly with "bandits" and "murderers".

The helicopter was hit during heavy fighting between Sloviansk and Kramatorsk on Thursday, May 29.

Earlier this month two army helicopters were shot down, also near Sloviansk, killing a pilot and serviceman.

The conflict has intensified since Poroshenko was elected on Sunday. Pro-Russian forces said they lost up to 100 fighters when they tried to seize Donetsk airport, some 130km (80 miles) from Sloviansk on Monday.

Further clashes have been reported in several areas in recent days - including Sloviansk where pro-Russia militiamen are holding four international monitors.

The four - a Dane, an Estonian, a Turk and a Swiss national - are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were seized on Monday.

The self-proclaimed mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, told Russia's Interfax news agency they were safe and well and could be released soon.

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