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Poroshenko Condemns Rise In Separatist Attacks In East

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has condemned an uptick in attacks by pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.

"We see there is a net escalation in the conflict in the east [amid] a rise in the number of [separatist] attacks," Poroshenko said.

"I have given orders to open fire in response as soon as our troops' lives come under threat," Poroshenko warned.

Fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists has intensified after weeks of relative calm.

Poroshenko's comments to Ukrainian TV on November 15 come hours after the Ukrainian military said one of its soldiers was killed and eight wounded in attacks by pro-Russian separatists in the past 24 hours.

A day earlier, Kyiv reported five soldiers killed in direct attacks from the separatist side in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily death toll in two months.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors the implementation of the cease-fire, warned on November 13 that this month's increase in violence threatened to derail the peace process.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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