4 wounded in blast at Communist meeting in eastern Ukraine

Police and experts work at the side of the blast in Donetsk, capital of the Donetsk region where Russia-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014, Ukraine, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Officials in one of Ukraine's separatist regions say three people have been wounded in an explosion at a meeting of the local Communist Party. (AP Photo/Alexander Yermochenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — Four people were wounded Saturday in an explosion at a meeting of the local Communist Party in the largest city in Ukraine’s separatist east.

The blast occurred in Donetsk, capital of the Donetsk region, where Russia-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014. The separatist government said in a statement that preliminary information indicated it was caused by a bomb. It did not say how seriously any of the four victims were wounded.

The explosion came a month after Donetsk separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko and a bodyguard were killed in a blast in a cafe in Donetsk.

Russia’s state news agency RIA-Novosti said one of the wounded was local Communist leader Igor Khakimzyanov, who intends to run in November elections to choose a successor to Zakharchenko.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian forces and rebels in Donetsk and the neighboring Luhansk region.

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