New clashes in Ukraine leave two people dead, five wounded
Iran Press TV
Mon May 4, 2015 3:1PM
A fresh wave of violence in Ukraine's restive eastern regions has left two people dead and five others wounded as the warring sides blame each other of violating a truce deal.
A Ukrainian army spokesman announced Monday that two servicemen were killed and three others injured in a mine attack on their tank in Lugansk region earlier in the day.
Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said that two other soldiers were wounded in clashes with pro-Russia forces near the village of Shyrokyne east of the port of Mariupol, a flashpoint under the control of the Kiev forces.
Ukrainian officials blamed pro-Russians for the deaths, saying that over the past 24 hours the militants have more than 95 times violated the Minsk agreement, a fragile deal reached earlier in February in the Belarusian capital to end the bloodshed.
"This is nearly the same level as before the conclusion of Minsk agreements," read a statement from the officials in charge of the military operation, adding that the pro-Russians deliberately use heavy artillery to provoke the Ukrainian troops.
Pro-Russians, however, provided their own account of the incidents, saying that Kiev forces have repeatedly used tanks, grenades and mortar launchers, stressing that this is a clear violation of the Minsk agreement as it forbids the use of heavy fire on the frontlines.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors the implementation of the truce in the area, has confirmed the two sides have violated the deal, expressing "serious concern over the use of proscribed heavy weapons as well as the increased fighting in and around Donetsk and Shyrokyne."
The Minsk agreement, which was signed by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on February 12, was a last-ditch effort to curb the violence in east Ukraine, which up to now, has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people.
According to the United Nations, more than a million people have been also displaced in the unrest which broke out after former president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted in February 2014.
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