KIEV, June 14 -- At least 49 Ukrainian troops were killed after a military transport plane was shot down by anti-government militants in the eastern city of Lugansk early Saturday.
The Il-76 aircraft carrying "military personnel, machinery, equipment and supplies" was approaching the airport in Luhansk when it came under attack by "anti-aircraft and heavy machine guns," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said said in a statement.
It did not give specific number of the casualties, but military spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, was quoted by the Interfax as saying that 49 people had been killed.
Local media reported earlier that some 30 people were aboard the plane.
Violent confrontations between insurgents and the government troops have continued in the mostly Russian-speaking Lugansk and Donetsk regions since mid-April. So far, the unrest has killed more than 200 people.