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Ukraine: 19 troops killed by rebels

Friday - 7/11/2014, 11:11am  ET

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- There's been a deadly attack today on Ukrainian troops by pro-Russia rebels. Ukraine's Defense Ministry says rebels fired missiles at government troops near the Russian border, killing at least 19 servicemen.

The statement revised an earlier ministry report of 30 troops killed in the pre-dawn attack at a forward operating base. Rocket attacks on army encampments and checkpoints have become an almost daily occurrence.

The Defense Ministry adds that four other troops died elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian government troops have been fighting for more than three months against separatists in eastern Ukraine. In the last two weeks, however, they have cut the territory held by the rebels in half and forced them out of their stronghold in the city of Slovyansk (SLAHV'-yansk). The rebels have since regrouped in Donetsk (dah-NETSK'), an eastern industrial city of 1 million, and Ukraine has vowed to cordon the area.

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APPHOTO XDL110: People walk past a pro-Russian fighter in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 11, 2014. Ukrainian government troops have been fighting for more than three months against separatists in eastern Ukraine. In the last two weeks, however, they have cut the amount of territory held by the rebels in half and forced them out of their stronghold in the city of Slovyansk. The rebels have since regrouped in the eastern city of Donetsk and Ukraine has vowed to cordon the area. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) (11 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO MOSB110: Ukrainian paratroopers sit on top an APC in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, July 10, 2014. In the past two weeks, Ukrainian government troops have halved the amount of territory held by the rebels. Now they are vowing a blockade of Donetsk. In another sign of deteriorating morale among rebels, several dozen militia fighters in Donetsk abandoned their weapons and fatigues Thursday, telling their superiors they were returning home. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (10 Jul 2014)

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