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KIEV, Ukraine - Fifteen bodies were recovered from the site of a rocket strike on a refugee convoy of buses and cars in eastern Ukraine, a military spokesman said on Tuesday. "By 7 p.m. last night we retrieved 15 bodies ... The search continued into the night and is continuing today," Andriy Lysenko told Reuters.
The attack occurred near the city of Luhansk, close to the border with Russia, in an area where there had been intense artillery exchanges between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Kiev's military blamed the attack on the rebels, but they have denied responsibility. At least one rebel leader suggested no attack had occurred. The military said on Monday that many of those killed, who included women and children, had been burned beyond recognition. Many bodies had been blown apart by the blast. The State Department condemned the attack on the convoy, which was near an area of heavy fighting between Khryashchuvatye and Novosvitlivka, but said it could not confirm who was responsible.