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Four Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Country's East


Separatist forces take part in exercises on a shooting range near Luhansk.
Separatist forces take part in exercises on a shooting range near Luhansk.

Ukraine says four of its soldiers have been killed and three wounded in clashes with Russia-backed separatists in the country's east.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on October 11 that two Ukrainian servicemen died during the previous 24 hours in clashes that also left six separatists dead and 10 wounded.

Two other soldiers sustained fatal wounds in a mine explosion, the Ukrainian military later said on Facebook.

The separatists violated a cease-fire 28 times during the previous 24 hours, firing antitank missiles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars, the Defense Ministry statement said.

The separatists claimed that Ukrainian government forces violated the cease-fire 25 times, but that nobody was hurt.

Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the separatists who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Cease-fire deals announced as part of the Minsk accords -- September 2014 and February 2015 pacts aimed to resolve the conflict -- have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached in late 2017 and was meant to begin on December 23, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS
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