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Iran Press TV

Fresh fighting in eastern Ukraine kills 5 soldiers

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:56PM GMT

The Ukrainian military says at least five government soldiers have been killed in fresh exchanges of fire with pro-Russian militia forces in the country's eastern regions in the past 24 hours.

'Over the last 24 hours, five soldiers died and nine were injured,' military spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has warned that the risk of violence in conflict-stricken eastern Ukraine is 'rising.'

'The level of violence in eastern Ukraine and the risk of further escalation remain high and are rising,' Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine told a press conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Tuesday.

He added, 'More than two months after the signing of the Minsk protocol memorandum, the firing has not ceased.'

On November 8, Ukrainian military said in a statement that one paratrooper was shot dead by a sniper in the ruins of the international airport in the eastern city of Donetsk.

The statement added that another 15 servicemen sustained injuries when they engaged in clashes with pro-Russians in the restive east.

According to latest figures by the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and over 9,300 others injured since the eastern Ukraine fighting began in mid-April.

Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Drobyshevsk, said on November 8 that the number of the Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter in Russian temporary accommodation centers has now exceeded 40,000.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking regions became the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army after the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush protests.

Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

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