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Published: Thursday May 22, 2014 MYT 9:56:14 PM
Updated: Thursday May 22, 2014 MYT 9:57:20 PM

13 Ukrainians killed in clash with separatists - president's office

KIEV (Reuters) - Thirteen Ukrainian servicemen were killed in an overnight clash with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, a spokeswoman for acting President Oleksander Turchinov said on Thursday.

Security sources earlier said at least eight people had died in the clash, which occurred near the town of Volnovakha, about 20 km (12 miles) to the south of Ukraine's industrial hub of Donetsk, where separatists have declared a 'people's republic'.

The clash, one of several overnight in the region, came three days before Ukrainians vote in a presidential election billed as the most crucial since the country gained independence from Moscow in 1991.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, writing by Gareth Jones; editing by Richard Balmforth)

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