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Published: Monday August 18, 2014 MYT 6:10:02 PM
Updated: Monday August 18, 2014 MYT 6:11:12 PM

Rebels deny responsibility for shelling of east Ukraine refugee convoy

DONETSK (Reuters) - A senior rebel leader denied on Monday separatists were responsible for a deadly missile strike on a convoy carrying refugees from the east Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

Earlier a Ukrainian military spokesmen had accused separatists of firing Grad missiles at the convoy, resulting in an unknown number of casualties.

Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said rebel forces did not have the military capability to conduct such an attack.

"The Ukrainians themselves have bombed the road constantly with airplanes and Grads. It seems they've now killed more civilians like they've been doing for months now. We don't have the ability to send Grads into that territory," he said.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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