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Ukraine Reports Border Rebel Attacks   07/25 06:21

   The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire 
from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in 
several other places in the restive east.

   MOSCOW (AP) -- The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under 
artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked 
by rebels in several other places in the restive east.

   Ukrainian forces are trying to close in on the rebels, cutting them off from 
the border with Russia which Kiev believes is the source of arms and 
reinforcement. Moscow has vehemently denied a role in the conflict between 
pro-Russian separatists and government troops which has left more than 400 
people dead and displaced tens of thousands.

   In a statement on Friday, the headquarters of the government's military 
operation in the east listed at least seven locations where rebels attacked 
Ukrainian troops. They also claimed that attacks on two locations including a 
border crossing were supported by artillery fire from Russia.

   Late on Thursday, Ukrainian troops entered the town of Lysychansk, which has 
been in rebel hands for several months, the military press office said. Rebels 
on Friday morning admitted in comments carried by Interfax that they had to 
flee the town which is 70 kilometers (45 miles) north-west of the regional 
capital Luhansk.

   International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation 
in Europe on Friday were traveling to inspect the wreckage of the downed 
Malaysia Airlines plane and to search for more bodies. Human remains are still 
being found at the crash site more than a week after the plane went down.

   All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 --- most of them Dutch 
citizens --- were killed when the plane was shot down on July 17. U.S. 
officials say the Boeing 777 was probably downed by a missile fired by 
pro-Russian rebels, likely by accident.


(KA)


 
 
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