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Italian journalist killed in eastern Ukraine

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May 25, 2014 05:15 AM EST | AP


ROME (AP) — Italy's foreign ministry says an Italian photojournalist has been killed in eastern Ukraine, where he was covering the conflict ahead of the presidential election.

The ministry said in a statement that Andrea Rocchelli, 30, was killed Saturday in the area of Slovyansk, a hotbed of pro-Russia, anti-Kiev sentiment. It stressed that the journalist's body, taken to a hospital along with that of a Russian citizen, was awaiting official identification and that Rocchelli's family was arriving in Kiev later Sunday.

The ministry gave no details of how Rocchelli died. But Italian news reports on Saturday night quoted a French photographer who was with the victim as saying that the journalists and a Russian interpreter were hit by mortar fire after taking shelter in a roadside ditch.