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Rivals Accuse Each Other Cease-Fire Violations In Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine's government and Russia-backed separatists have accused each other of violating a fragile cease-fire agreement by launching heavy mortars against each other in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's military press office said on February 24 that separatist fighters had fired 84 rounds at government forces during the previous 24 hours.

Russia-backed separatists said Ukrainian government forces fired 30 rounds at their positions on the outskirts of Donetsk and Horlivka.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine comes after the German and French foreign ministers visited Kyiv on February 23 and urged Ukraine's leaders to push ahead with reforms needed to fulfill the Minsk peace agreements and stabilize the situation in the east.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in the conflict since fighting broke out in April 2014 in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS