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Ukrainian Officials Say Two Soldiers Killed, Four Wounded In East

Ukrainian servicemen drive tanks during military exercises in the Donetsk region last month.
Ukrainian servicemen drive tanks during military exercises in the Donetsk region last month.

Ukraine's military says that two of its soldiers were killed and four were wounded amid multiple cease-fire violations by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine on October 17.

Separatists forces violated the cease-fire 44 times in the previous 24 hours in Donetsk region, and Ukrainian forces returned fire 38 times, the military said in a statement on October 18.

The statement also said that militants used 82-120-milimeter mortars, antitank grenade launchers, and weapons used by infantry fighting vehicles.

Two other Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Donetsk region on October 16.

Fighting between Kyiv's forces and the Russia-backed separatists who hold parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

Several 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.

The latest cease-fire was agreed on August 22 in a phone call between the leaders of Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine.

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