Five troops, 19 civilians, killed in east Ukraine: officials
Twenty-four people, including 19 civilians, were killed in the past 24 hours in clashes between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine, officials said Friday.
Pro-Kiev officials in the separatist region of Donetsk said dozens of people were also wounded in shelling across the industrial province. The Ukrainian military said 23 soldiers were injured in the fighting, which has claimed at least 5,100 lives over the last nine months.
Seven civilians died overnight in rebel-held Donetsk and five more early Friday when a food distribution centre was hit, city hall officials said.
The Ukrainian military said that five soldiers and seven civilians were killed in other areas across the mostly Russian-speaking rustbelt.
Heavy fighting was ongoing around Debaltseve, a key government-held town of 25,000 people that straddles a railroad connecting the two rebel centres of Lugansk and Donetsk. Russian-backed rebels claim to have almost encircled the town.
© 2015 AFP