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Decline in German DAX leads European equities lower

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday, led lower by a drop in Germany's DAX index, as new signs of violence in Ukraine weighed on stock markets which had been buoyed this week by corporate takeover activity.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a near 6-year high of 1,355.29 points earlier this month, fell 0.4 percent to 1,338.61 points in early session trading.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also fell 0.6 percent while the DAX underperformed by dropping 0.7 percent.

Germany's DAX and Austria's ATX equity index, which was down by 0.4 percent, have been the most impacted by the crisis in Ukraine since German and Austrian companies are among the most exposed in Europe to Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday and Russia launched army drills near the border in response.

Seven people were also injured overnight at a pro-Ukrainian checkpoint near Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa when an explosive device blew up, local police said on Friday.

"I'm a seller here. The DAX has got the legs to come off down to 9,250 points," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investments Management.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Blaise Robinson)