Gunfire, blasts in insurgent-held Ukraine city, pro-Russians claim 2 helicopters show down

May 2, 2014 4:26 AM

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SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — Gunfire and blasts were heard early Friday around an eastern city in Ukraine that has become the focus of an armed pro-Russian insurgency, whose leaders claimed that government troops had assayed a military assault in an attempt to retake control.

Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the insurgency-appointed mayor of Slovyansk, said self-defence forces had shot down two helicopters and taken one pilot hostage. He said no Ukrainian troops could be seen in the city.

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