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Ukrainian Soldier Killed In Clashes With Russia-Backed Separatists

A Ukrainian serviceman with a large-caliber machine gun exchanges fire with Russia-backed separatists near Horlivka. (file photo)

The government in Kyiv says one of its soldiers has been killed and nine others wounded in a battle with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry said on July 11 that separatist fighters violated a cease-fire 28 times in a 24-hour period, using 120- and 82-millimeter mortars and 122-millimeter artillery shells that are banned under the Minsk peace agreements.

Meanwhile, separatists said on July 11 that an elderly woman was killed after Ukrainian armed forces shelled the outskirts of the industrial frontline town of Horlivka.

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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