March 25, 2015 / 8:26 PM / 5 years ago

Passenger bus blown up by mine in east Ukraine, three killed

KIEV, March 25 (Reuters) - Three people were killed and six injured on Wednesday when a passenger bus struck a landmine in eastern Ukraine where government forces have been battling Russian-backed separatists, Interfax news agency said, quoting police.

A local police official, Ilya Kyva, said the bus had been carrying about 20 passengers from Artemivsk, a government-held town north of the region’s main city of Donetsk, to Horlivka, which is held by the separatists, about 35 km (22 miles) away.

The bus struck the land mine as it apparently tried to negotiate around a road block manned by government forces, Interfax quoted Kyva as saying.

Kyva said the six injured people were “in a serious condition”.

A ceasefire agreed between the warring sides last month is still tenuously holding despite what Ukraine’s military says are regular attacks by rebels who have taken control of large swathes of territory in the industrialised east.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the separatists rose up last April against a pro-Western government that took power after street protests in Kiev led to the overthrow of a Moscow-backed president (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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