KIEV (Reuters) – At least eight Ukrainian security personnel were killed and 18 wounded in overnight clashes with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine three days before a presidential election in the former Soviet Republic.
Security sources said on Thursday the main clash took place about 20 km (12 miles) south of the industrial hub of Donetsk, which is now in the hands of the separatists who say they will disrupt the election.
Ukrainian forces also fought separatists in the neighbouring Luhansk region but there was no word about any casualties there.
The defence ministry confirmed that several people had been killed in the firefight near Donetsk but gave no precise death toll. It said the clash occurred when gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint near the town of Volnovakha.