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MOSCOW – Rebels in eastern Ukraine say one of their top commanders was killed when his automobile exploded.
The rebels' Lugansk Information Center reported that Lugansk People's Militia commander Oleg Anashchenko died early Saturday. The report says a second, unidentified person in the car also was killed in the explosion in Lugansk city.
Militia spokesman Andrei Marochko accused Ukrainian special services of causing the explosion.
Lugansk is one of two Ukrainian republics where separatist rebels have been fighting government forces since April 2014 in a war that has killed more than 9800 people.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. The Ukrainian command said Saturday that three of its soldiers were killed in the past day.