SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops have launched an offensive against pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern city of Slovyansk (SLAHV'-yansk) and advanced through the city's outskirts.

Ukraine's interior minister says government troops broke through rebel positions around the village of Semenovka on the eastern fringe of Slovyansk today.

Local residents say several Ukrainian combat jets and helicopter gunships attacked rebel positions on the eastern outskirts of Slovyansk, and heavy artillery barrages are continuing throughout the day.

A Ukrainian military officer says one serviceman was killed and 13 others were wounded when their vehicle came under rebel fire.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is warning residents in the city and nearby cities to stay at home.

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