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Ukraine: Pro-Russian Rebels Shot Down Fighter Plane Near Luhansk

KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's government said Sunday that separatists shot down a Ukrainian fighter plane after army troops entered deep inside a rebel-controlled city in the east in what could prove a breakthrough development in the four-month long conflict. Ukraine's national security council said government forces captured a district police station in Luhansk after bitter clashes in the Velika Vergunka neighborhood.

Weeks of fighting have taken their toll on Luhansk, which city authorities say has reached the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. The siege mounted by government forces has ground delivery of basic provisions to a halt and cut off power and running water links. Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky said Sunday that the separatists have shot down a Ukrainian fighter plane over the Luhansk region after it launched an attack on rebels. The pilot ejected and was taken to a secure place, he said. Another military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, later said the pilot’s status was still being clarified.

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- The Associated Press