"The rebels Monday abducted four Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors in Sloviansk. "
Kiev, May 29 - Ukrainian military forces Thursday killed the armed activists responsible for the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers in a military helicopter crash near the eastern town of Slavyansk, the National Guard Force said.
In response to the actions of terrorists, the forces of the anti-terror operation made artillery and air bombardments, which resulted in liquidation of a group of criminals involved in shooting at the helicopter, Xinhua quoted the National Guard as saying in a statement.
Earlier in the day, a Ukrainian military helicopter, which was carrying soldiers for troop rotation, was shot down by rebels.
Ukrainian acting President Alexandr Turchynov said 14 troopers, including an army general Sergei Kulchitskii, the head of combat and special training for the National Guard, were killed in the attack.
Later, the National Guard press service said 12 Ukrainian soldiers died and one serviceman was seriously injured in the incident.
According to the BBC, the militants said Thursday's attack was in response to the deaths of 100 rebels when the army Monday tried to seize the Donetsk airport from them.
The rebels Monday abducted four Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitors in Sloviansk.
But the self-proclaimed leader of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, announced Thursday that the four were safe and could be released soon.