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Five Coal Miners Killed as Mortars Hit Bus in Eastern Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine - At least four Ukrainian servicemen and five coal miners were on Friday reported killed in the latest violence in the east of the country, where government forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists. The miners were killed after the bus they were traveling in came under mortar fire, Ukrainian television reported a doctor as saying, in the region of Chervonopartizansk near the border with Russia.

Two soldiers and at least one border guard were killed after their armored vehicle drove over a landmine near Dovzhansky on Ukraine's border with Russia. Military spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov said at least 50 separatist fighters had been killed in the last few days following airstrikes against rebel positions near the border with Russia. There was no immediate comment from the rebels. The government forces have gained the upper hand in the three-month-old conflict in the Russian-speaking eastern regions in which more than 200 government troops have been killed as well as hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters. The Ukrainian military say they have a plan to deliver a "nasty surprise" to the rebels and take back their main strongholds, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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- Reuters