KIEV – At least four people were killed and 19 wounded when a passenger bus swerved over a landmine when trying to avoid a government checkpoint in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military command reported on Thursday.
Ukrainian military spokesman Anatoli Stelmaj said that the accident took place when the bus abruptly turned to avoid the security post near Artiomovsk, a town controlled by Kiev, while en route to the pro-Russian separatist-held city of Gorlovka.
According to DAN, the news agency of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, the bus driver decided to bypass the stop after the Ukrainian military blocked the way to Gorlovka.
Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s regional office in Donetsk region Ilya Kiva wrote on his Facebook page that shortly after the accident, separatist militias attacked the area with mortar fire, obstructing the evacuation of the wounded.
Kiva reported that the bus driver was unhurt and was apprehended by the police.
Although a cease-fire went into effect on Feb. 15 between the involved parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, hostilities have not ceased.