Militia group, which shot down helicopter near Slavyansk, returns to HQ

Slavyansk "People's Mayor" Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said he denied information on losses in a militia group, which shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter near the city on Thursday.

Slavyansk "People's Mayor" Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said he denied information on losses in a militia group, which shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter near the city on Thursday.

"Militiamen, who shot down the helicopter, are at their headquarters now. The information of the National Guard is not true. Our militia in Slavyansk has no losses and no injured," Ponomaryov told Interfax.

Ukraine's National Guard said earlier on Thursday that it had crushed the militia group that shot down an army helicopter near Slavyansk.

"In response to the terrorists' act, artillery and aircraft involved in the counterterrorist operation attacked the territory from which the fire had come. As a result, the group of criminals that had carried out the attack was destroyed," the Guard said in a statement that did not contain any casualty statistics.

Earlier, acting President Olexander Turchynov said 14 servicemen, including Maj. Gen. Serhiy Kulchytsky, head of the National Guard's combat training service, had been killed in the attack on the Mil Mi-8 helicopter.

The National Guard revised the death toll to 12 and said one person was heavily injured, but confirmed that those killed included Kulchytsky.

Read more: Shooting resumes in Slavyansk - pro-autonomy militia

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