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Criminal case opened in Ukraine over attack on Izvarino border checkpoint

June 21, 2014, 17:32 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)
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KIEV, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - Prosecutors in Ukraine's southern region opened a criminal case on terrorism charges over the attack on the Izvarino checkpoint, the Lugansk region, the press service of the Ukrainian prosecutor-general's office said on Saturday.

Firearms and mortar launchers were used in the attack. Six Ukrainian border guards were wounded. The checkpoint was closed. Fire was also opened on the Donetsk checkpoint on the Russian side, the press service said.

The Ukrainian border guard service confirmed on Saturday that the Izvarino checkpoint was attacked.

"Militants arrived by cars at the checkpoint and opened fire at the personnel. Border guards took all measures to evacuate civilians to safe places. After that, border guards moved to prepared emplacements and began fighting," the service said. Two of the six wounded border guards were in heavy condition. The border guards under the assault had to retreat to Russia's territory, the service said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also commented on the incident, saying illegal armed groups had intentionally attempted to disrupt the peaceful settlement process in Ukraine’s eastern regions. The ministry said Ukrainian forces did not use artillery and mortar launchers during operations to restore control of the Ukrainian border.

Meanwhile, the press service of the defence ministry of Lugansk People's Republic reported that the Ukrainian military had fired at Izvarino. The press service of the Lugansk People's Republic said forces of the Ukrainian National Guards had fired. According to the republic's prime minister Vasily Nikitin, the checkpoint is controlled by militia.

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