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Kyiv Says Three Soldiers Killed In Eastern Ukraine

The Ukrainian military says three soldiers have been killed and three others wounded in fresh clashes between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the country's volatile east.

Two servicemen were killed by mortar fire near Avdiyivka, an industrial hub some 10 kilometers north of the separatists' de-facto capital Donetsk, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists on July 25.

Another soldier was killed near the village of Nevelske, 12 kilometers northwest of Donetsk, Lysenko said.

The latest fatalities come just a day after Kyiv announced the deaths of six Ukrainian servicemen.

Lysenko accused the separatists of using weapons banned by truce agreements.

De facto authorities in the Donetsk territory held by the separatists accused Ukrainian forces of shelling areas under separatist control and injuring two civilians.

The TASS news agency quoted an unnamed source in Donetsk as saying on July 25 that "the situation in Donetsk remains tense" and that "the number of shelling attacks reached 570 over the past day."

Fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 9,400 people in eastern Ukraine since the conflict began in April 2014.

Under a cease-fire agreement reached last year in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, both sides pledged to pull back heavy weaponry as well as take other steps toward a peace settlement.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS