Four killed in eastern Ukraine clashes

12th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Two soldiers, a pro-Russian rebel and a civilian were killed in 24 hours of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military and rebels said separately on Sunday.

"We have lost two soldiers in fighting and acts of provocation, five have been wounded," Ukraine army spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists, reporting heavy shelling by rebels despite a four-month truce.

Separatist leader Eduard Bassurin, meanwhile, said shots "fired by the Ukrainian army" killed a rebel and a civilian.

Lysenko accused rebels of using "on 10 occasions artillery over 100 mm calibre." Such heavy weaponry was to have been withdrawn from the front line under the terms of a peace deal signed in Minsk.

The military spokesman said firing came from the area around Donetsk airport, controlled by rebels since January but still a flashpoint, as well as close to the village of Trokhizbenka in the rebels' self-proclaimed people's republic of Lugansk.

In a report published late Saturday, the OSCE, which has a monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine, said it had observed 617 ceasefire violations "at and around" Donetsk airport.

More than 6,500 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, which began in April 2014.

© 2015 AFP

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