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Four Killed as Minibus Explodes at Ukrainian Checkpoint

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Three servicemen and a driver were killed when a minibus exploded at a checkpoint as clashes between pro-Russian separatists and government troops in the country’s eastern regions continue.

A suicide attack is one of several scenarios under investigation for the incident near Kamyanka, a village in the Donetsk region, according to the Defense Ministry. Other versions for the blast, which happened yesterday evening, include a radio-controlled vehicle, ministry spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov said today by phone.

Ukraine targeted pro-Russian separatists who’ve retreated to two of the nation’s biggest eastern cities, Donetsk and Luhansk, stepping up a military offensive in the wake of last week’s Malaysia Air plane disaster. Government troops took control of towns in the Donbas region and of a part of Donetsk yesterday, according to the Defense Ministry.

Ukraine, the European Union, the U.S and their allies say Russia supplies weapon to rebels, an accusation Russia denies. Andriy Parubiy, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told parliament in Kiev today that Russia was boosting weapons supplies to the rebels and continues massing troops near the two nations’ border.

Thirteen Ukrainian servicemen have been killed in the past 24 hours of fighting, said Andriy Lysenko, another Defense Ministry spokesman.

To contact the reporters on this story: Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net; Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at vverbyany1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net Andrew Langley, Andrea Dudik

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