MOSCOW (AP) — A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed when his car exploded in the Black Sea port city of Mariupol.
Authorities labeled the Friday morning blast an act of terrorism. Mariupol is the most strategically important government-held city along the coast between the Russian border and the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula.
Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatist rebels have repeatedly clashed in areas just east of Mariupol for some three years.
Rebel military spokesman Eduard Basurin rejected suspicions that rebels were responsible for the blast that killed Col. Oleksandr Kharaberyush.