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Fresh fighting claims 5 lives in east Ukraine

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Renewed fighting between government troops and pro-Russia forces in the violence-scarred eastern regions of Ukraine has left a total of five civilians dead.

Three people were killed and ten others were injured overnight Sunday in the Donetsk region, which is considered as a stronghold of pro-Moscow activists.

Explosions and gunfire were also heard in the volatile region this morning, according to local authorities.

Furthermore, two civilians were killed after a shell hit a house in the village of Kryakivka in the eastern Lugansk Province, said the provincial pro-Ukrainian governor.

The latest casualties come despite a recent agreement between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russians to stop fighting from December 9 under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire.

The representatives of Kiev, Moscow, and self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics signed a truce deal in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on September 5.

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

Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint provinces held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

Some 4,300 people have reportedly lost their lives in eight months of deadly conflict in east Ukraine.


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