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Ukraine prosecutor: 49 dead as rebels down plane

KIEV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office says 49 people died when pro-Russian separatists shot down a military transport.

A statement on the office’s website says that nine crew and 40 service members were aboard the Il-76 plane when it went down early Saturday as it approached the airport at the city of Lugansk.

Another official, counter-terrorism spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the figure was preliminary.

The prosecutor’s office said a criminal investigation had been opened under anti-terrorism laws.