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Kiev (AFP) – Pro-Russian rebels on Wednesday shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in eastern Ukraine just days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Ukrainian military spokesman told AFP.

“Two Sukhoi Ukrainian fighter jets have been shot down. The fate of the pilots is not known,” spokesman Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky said, adding the planes were brought down some 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the crash site of MH17.

But a second military spokesman said the jets had been downed at a different location by rockets fired by insurgents. The two pilots managed to parachute out, he said.

“Today in the south of the Lugansk region close to the village of Dmytrivka, pro-Russian fighters shot two Su-25 jets from a missile system,” spokesman Vladislav Seleznev said.

“The pilots took evasive action … but the planes were hit,” he said.

AFP Photo/Genia Savilov

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