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Ukrainian troops suffer heavy loss in ambush on column near Malaysia Airlines wreckage

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KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian authorities say at least 10 government troops have been killed in an ambush by pro-Russian separatist rebels in an area near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Defense officials said in a statement Friday that the attack happened during redeployment in the town of Shakhtarsk, which has been the object of sustained battles for several days.

Ukrainian forces have latterly focused their strategy on driving a wedge into an area between the two main rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Shakhtarsk lies on one of two highways linking those cities and is about 20 kilometers south where the Malaysia Airlines plane came down.

The Boeing 777 was brought down in a missile attack last month, killing all 298 people onboard.

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