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East Ukraine death toll crosses 4600

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Ukrainian serviceman guards at hydro meteorological station tower at the airport of eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on December 11, 2014.

The UN says the death toll from fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine has exceeded 4,600 in nearly eight months.

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Saturday the conflict has left more than 300 people dead in less than a month, taking the overall toll to 4,634.

The statement said some 10,243 people have been wounded since the fighting erupted in mid-April. Moreover, it said, more than 1.1 million people have since been displaced.

According to the statement, as many as 488,466 people have fled to Russia. It also said that some 5.2 million people live in war-torn areas.

In its last report on November 20, the UN rights office put the number of fatalities at 4,317.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian army said on Saturday the pro-Russian forces had launched 11 attacks against its positions in the east despite a ceasefire deal between the two sides.

The army said in a statement that it had spotted a drone over Mariupol, the last major eastern town under Kiev’s control.

“The surveillance activities of the enemy have intensified around Mariupol where a drone was identified,” the statement read.

The ceasefire introduced on December 9 has been violated 11 times in the past 24 hours, it said.

The pro-Russians have yet to comment on this report.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev’s military operation started in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.

Kiev and pro-Russia forces recently agreed to stop fighting under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire.


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