May 27, 2014 11:25 am

Mayor says 40 people killed in eastern Ukraine

Smoke rises from a nearby explosion following a shelling from Ukrainian government forces in Slovyansk, Ukraine, Monday, May 26, 2014.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

DONETSK, Ukraine – The eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk was in turmoil Tuesday a day after government forces used fighter jets to stop pro-Russia separatists from taking over the airport.

The mayor said 40 people were killed and went on television to urge residents to stay at home.

The city of one million was engulfed by fighting Monday when rebels moved to seize the airport, Ukraine’s second largest.

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They were repelled by government forces using combat jets and helicopter gunships and Associated Press journalists witnessed intensive gun fire throughout the day and into the night.

Plumes of black smoke rose into the air and officials shut down Donetsk airport and nearby streets to traffic amid the fighting.

Donetsk mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko was quoted by the local news portal Ostrovas saying that 40 people, including two civilians, were killed in Monday’s fighting.

 

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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