LUHANSK , Ukraine, June 2 (UPI) -- Approximately 500 pro-Russian separatists surrounded and attacked a district border control headquarters in Luhansk, Ukraine, on Monday.
The building was stormed by rebel forces, which had snipers and rocket launchers in nearby apartments. Five rebels were killed and eight were injured, spokesman Oleg Slobodyan of the Ukrainian border service said, adding seven guards were injured. The separatists' action appeared to be designed to seize control of the closed Ukraine-Russia border and bring in supplies and additional forces. The border guards are among the few effective government representatives in the region, since army and security troops have essentially abandoned the government cause or joined the rebels, but are not skilled in combat.