Kiev: At least 10 people were killed in Ukraine as government troops stepped up their offensive against independence-seeking rebels, authorities said Thursday.
Five Ukrainian servicemen were killed Wednesday overnight in clashes with rebels, Xinhua quoted National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko as saying.
Following the fierce battles, government forces took control over a "significant part" of Lugansk city and continue encircling another rebel stronghold city of Donetsk, Lysenko said.
Civilian casualties were also reported.
A family of three refugees, trying to leave the war-torn area, was killed when their car was hit by gunfire in Lugansk region.
Separately, at least two civilians were killed and many others wounded in a deadly artillery attack on Mospino town, a suburb of Donetsk city, the authorities added.
The conflict, which erupted in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, has claimed the lives of over 2,000 people and injured thousands of others.