Fatal clashes erupt in eastern Ukraine despite truce

Two civilians and three Ukrainian soldiers die in fighting in country's east where pro-Russia rebels hope to secede.

    At least two civilians and three Ukrainian troops have been killed in eastern Ukraine despite the ongoing ceasefire, officials on both sides of the conflict said.

    Two civilians were killed and five injured in shelling on Sunday, according to the pro-rebel Donetsk News Agency. One of them died in the village of Shyrokyne, an epicenter of fighting in the recent weeks, and the other was killed in the town of Horlivka.

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    Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko in Kiev said three Ukrainian troops were killed in fighting and four injured in the past 24 hours. Two other Ukrainian soldiers were captured outside the village of Maryinka, according to Lysenko.

    Fighting has subsided since the September ceasefire, but clashes between pro-Russia separatists and government troops still continue across the front line.

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    In a new report released on Monday, the UN human rights office said that the number of people killed in more than a year of fighting in the east had risen to more than 6,400 people.

    The UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, said there were "alarming reports of summary executions by armed groups" and his office was "looking into similar allegations against Ukrainian armed forces."

    He added that there were "horrific accounts of torture and ill-treatment in detention" by both sides.

    Observers from the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe on Monday issued a report, documenting the scale of ceasefire violations, saying its employees heard a total of 253 explosions from the rebel stronghold of Donetsk during 48 hours ending on Sunday evening.

    The explosions, the OSCE said, were "consistent with heavy and light weapons fire" including tanks and artillery that should have been withdrawn by now from the front lines in compliance with the accords.

    SOURCE: AP


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