By Editor

At least three people were killed and six injured in eastern Ukraine when a passenger bus hit a landmine in the government-controlled town of Artemivsk, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, a police official told AFP.

The accident happened when the bus sought to bypass a checkpoint, said Ilia Kiva, a Kiev-loyal deputy police chief in the Donetsk region. He added that those injured were in a serious condition.

A spokesman for the Donetsk regional administration put the toll at four dead.

“According to information from the doctors, there are currently four dead and 11 injured. Of those, three are in a serious condition,” he told AFP.

“The driver had wanted to avoid a Ukrainian checkpoint near Artemivsk by going through the field and he drove over a landmine,” he added.

More than 6,000 people have died in fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government troops in eastern Ukraine since April. Despite a shaky ceasefire agreed over a month ago, daily skirmishes have continued.

Within the conflict area landmines have been strewn across rural roads and agricultural fields in an attempt to make them impassable.

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