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Assailants blow up Ukrainian helicopter

Ukrainian officials provided differing accounts of what occurred Friday when a helicopter at Kramatorsk airfield exploded. The security service reported sniper fire exploded the helicopter's fuel tank, while the defense ministry said the explosion was caused by a grenade launched at the airborne helicopter.

By JC Finley

KIEV, Ukraine, April 25 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian helicopter at an airfield in Kramatorsk exploded after sustaining incoming fire from unidentified assailants. The pilot was injured.

Ukrainian officials provided differing accounts of what occurred Friday.

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According to the Security Service of Ukraine's anti-terrorist center head, Vasyl Krutov, "A sniper fired a shot at a parked helicopter in Kramatorsk. The bullet got into the fuel tank." And then the helicopter exploded.

The Ministry of Defense, however, said that a Mi-8 military helicopter was airborne when it was struck by a grenade.

"A tentative theory," the director of the Center for Military-Political Studies and Information Resistance group coordinator Dmytro Tymchuk offered, "is that the helicopter came under fire as it was warming up before takeoff."

Images from Russia Today allegedly showing the blast spread on social media Thursday.

Ukrainian Armed Forces recently seized control of the Kramatorsk airfield.

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