Second Team of OSCE Observers Goes Missing in East Ukraine

Image: A pro-Russian separatist stands guard near a barricade in Donetsk, Ukraine
A pro-Russian separatist stands guard near a barricade in Donetsk, Ukraine on May 29, 2014. Number of armed volunteers are increased at the Pro-Russian separatists' barricades, reinforced against the possible operation of Ukrainian army after the clashes between the Ukrainian army and separatists for the control of the Donetsk Airport. Passing through the barricades is not allowed by the Pro-Russian separatists.Veli Gurgah / Anadolu Agency via Getty

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European security watchdog OSCE said Friday it had lost contact with a second team of monitors in Ukraine, two days after pro-Russia rebels claimed to have kidnapped four observers.

The team was stopped by armed men in the town of Severodonetsk, about 60 miles north of the eastern city of Luhansk, the organization said in a statement.

The team consisted of four international OSCE observers and one Ukrainian language assistant travelling in two vehicles, the statement said.

“The detained team is in addition to one currently missing in the East that was last heard from on the evening of May 26,” the statement added.

The first four missing observers were detained by militants in the Donetsk region, said Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the self-appointed mayor of the separatist stronghold, Slovyansk.

Alastair Jamieson and Emma Ong