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Three Ukrainian troops killed in rebel east: officials

Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two wounded in the country’s rebel east, the bloodiest day for government forces in more than a month, Kiev said Sunday.

“Over the past 24 hours three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in combat,” military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told journalists.

“It happened as a result of an enemy mortar attack near Krasnogorivka,” some 20 kilometres west of the de facto rebel capital Donetsk, he said, noting a “sharp increase” in shooting by the pro-Russian rebels.

Nearly 10,000 people have died since Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking eastern industrial regions revolted against Kiev’s pro-Western government in April 2014.

Kiev and the West have accused Russia of supporting rebels and deploying troops across the border, claims Moscow has repeatedly denied.