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Ukraine Reports More Casualties In Conflict In East

A Ukrainian serviceman mans a machine gun near the front line in the east of the country. (file photo)

Ukraine says fresh clashes with Russia-backed separatists in the country's east have claimed the life of one of its soldiers, raising to four the number of Ukrainian troops reported killed this week.

The Defense Ministry said on June 6 that another Ukrainian soldier was wounded in the fighting with separatist fighters, who opened fire with machine-guns, sniper rifles, and grenade launchers, violating a cease-fire 14 times in a 24-hour period.

The ministry said that Ukrainian armed forces also killed one "occupier" and wounded four others.

A day earlier, the Defense Ministry said three Ukrainian soldiers and one separatist had lost their lives in a battle.

Since April 2014, some 13,000 people have been killed in fighting between Kyiv's 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 at resolving the conflict -- have contributed to a decrease in fighting but have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached on March 8, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

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