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Ukraine: 5 soldiers shot dead inside missile factory, shooter on loose

At least five Ukrainian soldiers were killed Thursday when “a young conscript” opened fire on them inside a rocket factory in the central city of Dnipro, according to reports.

The gunman– who is now on the run– reportedly grabbed an AK-47 and ammunition from the facility before opening fire at about 4 a.m. local time, Deutsche Welle, the German news outlet, reported. Five other soldiers were injured. 

Ukrainian paratroopers are seen stationed on the frontline near Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk Region, Ukraine on January 21, 2022 (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukrainian paratroopers are seen stationed on the frontline near Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk Region, Ukraine on January 21, 2022 (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The report, citing the country’s Interior Ministry, said that the alleged gunman was a 20-year-old who served on the National Guard of Ukraine. The suspected gunman fled the Southern Machine Building dressed in camouflage and may be concealing the AK-47.

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The country has been on edge since the Russian troop buildup along its eastern border. There is a possibility that its neighbor is planning an invasion despite assurances from Moscow.

The motive of the shooting is not immediately clear. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.

The New York Times reported that the shooting occurred hours after the U.S. and NATO presented its response to Russia’s list of demands involving NATO’s expansion in the region. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about Russia and Ukraine during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2022. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about Russia and Ukraine during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2022. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Moscow was likely dissatisfied with the response because U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and “the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances.”

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