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Pro-Russian fighters waved a white flag on Wednesday to start a handover of the bodies of Ukrainian troops killed in a plane shot down near Luhansk, at a check point in the village of Karlivka near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

The two sides managed to arrange a brief truce Wednesday evening to allow pro-Russian forces to hand over the bodies of 49 Ukrainian troops who died when the separatists shot down a transport plane bound for the airport in Luhansk last weekend.

Heavy fighting raged on Thursday morning, after rebels rejected a call to lay down their arms in line with a peace plan proposed by President Petro Poroshenko.

Pro-Russian fighters handover the bodies of Ukrainian troops who died in a plane shot down near Luhansk, at a check point in the village of Karlivka near Donetsk, on June 18, 2014.Evgeniy Maloletka / AP