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Iran Press TV

Leader of Luhansk People's Republic injured in car bombing

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 6, 2016 2:24PM

The leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine was injured in a car bombing on Saturday.

Pro-Russians said the explosion took place near the car of Igor Plotnitsky during the early hours of the day.

The Luhansk Information Center said an unidentified explosive device was employed in the bombing.

There is no information whether Plotnitsky was in the car at the moment of the blast.

Sergei Kozlov, a pro-Russia official, said Plotnitsky was taken to a nearby hospital. He is in a stable condition.

Russia's state television aired footage of a black SUV damaged by a blast.

People in Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted for rejoining the Russian Federation in a referendum in March 2014. The West branded the move as Moscow's annexation of the territory. The United States and its allies in Europe accuse Moscow of having a hand in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia, however, strongly denies the charges.

In April 2014, the government in Kiev launched the first round of its military operations in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which are populated mostly by pro-Russians, to crush anti-government protests there. The operations, however, led to deadly clashes between the two sides.

The crisis in eastern Ukraine has left nearly 9,500 people dead and over 21,000 others injured, according to the United Nations.

Despite ceasefire efforts, sporadic fighting continues to claim more lives.

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