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Iran Press TV

Clashes kills 6 government troops in east Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:1PM

Fresh clashes in eastern Ukraine have left six soldiers dead as concerns grow over the repeated violation of a shaky ceasefire aimed at ending the conflict in the volatile area.

A Ukrainian military spokesman announced Tuesday that six government troops were killed in new clashes with pro-Russia forces in the east during the past 24 hours.

"Over the past day, as a result of serious provocations, six Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 12 wounded," Andriy Lysenko said in a news briefing in Kiev, saying that the situation in the conflict zone remains unstable.

Lysenko added that pro-Russia forces have used 120mm mortars and 122mm canons, a move deemed contrary to the peace agreement reached in February, which stipulated that all heavy weaponry should be pulled out from the frontlines.

He also said that areas around Donetsk have seen the heaviest fighting over the past 24 hours.

The new fatalities, which is the highest over the past 10 days, comes despite a truce deal inked between Kiev and pro-Russians in Minsk, Belarus, in February.

Since then, both sides have, on numerous occasions, accused each other of breaking the truce.

The report comes as foreign ministers of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, namely Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius, Pavlo Klimkin and Sergei Lavrov, gathered in the German capital, Berlin, earlier in the day to evaluate the status of the ceasefire, also known as the Minsk II agreement.

The top diplomats, known as the Normandy Four group, expressed grave concerns over the violations of the deal.

Since the start of Kiev's military operation in eastern Ukraine last year, over 6,100 people have died while nearly 15,500 have been injured, according to the UN.

MS/MKA/SS



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