SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) — It's the first report of a gunbattle in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian gunmen have seized a number of government buildings in recent days.
Officials say Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with a pro-Russia militia today in the eastern city of Slovyansk, with at least one security officer killed and five others wounded.
An Associated Press reporter found an SUV with bullet holes on the side of the road, and a pool of blood on the passenger seat where the gunbattle was supposed to have taken place.
A lawmaker from the area who witnessed the attack says a car with four gunmen pulled up on the road in a wooded area and opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers who were standing beside their vehicles.
Unrest has spread to several cities in eastern Ukraine, including the major industrial city of Donetsk, which has a large Russian-speaking population.
Two rival rallies in another regional capital in eastern Ukraine, Kharkiv, turned violent. According to a Ukrainian news agency, a group of pro-Russian protesters followed several pro-Ukrainian activists, beating them with bats and sticks.
120-a-13-(Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in interview)-"the same thing"-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power says there is great concern over Russia's actions in east Ukraine. COURTESY: ABC's 'This Week' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (13 Apr 2014)
<<CUT *120 (04/13/14)££ 00:13 "the same thing"
122-a-07-(Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in interview)-"of those sanctions"-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power says there is more the U.S. can do to penalize Russia. COURTESY: ABC's 'This Week' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (13 Apr 2014)
<<CUT *122 (04/13/14)££ 00:07 "of those sanctions"
APPHOTO XEL114: Pro-Russian gunmen inspect the scene after a firefight outside the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Authorities dispatched troops to the town in an effort to quell unrest across the east, where pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings over the past week. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (13 Apr 2014)
<<APPHOTO XEL114 (04/13/14)££