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Ukrainian military report they take control of Lugansk airport

July 19, 2014, 14:41 UTC+3 19 19/7

The press service of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic has denied the information

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matyzin

KIEV, July 19 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian Defence Minister Valery Geletei has reported to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the Ukrainian military have taken control of the southeast of the city of Lugansk and unblocked the airport, the presidential website says.

Meanwhile, the press service of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic has denied the information.

"Ukrainian troops in the southeast of Lugansk have not seized districts of the city. All remained at their positions," a press service source told Itar-Tass.

City residents said it was calm in Lugansk. Two-three shots were heard an hour ago from the militia's positions, supposedly toward the airport. Artillery or mortars were used.

Witnesses also said intense fighting took place at three sites in Lugansk on Friday in the north in the area of Metallist, in the west in the area of the settlement of Yubileinoye and in the southeast in the airport area.

The Lugansk city council said on its website on Saturday that 16 civilians were killed and 66 Lugansk residents were wounded in continuing gunfire attacks on the city on July 18.

The road between Lugansk and Donetsk was closed because of fighting. To prevent casualties, civilians were not allowed to pass through checkpoints.

There was not information whether the road was opened.

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