10 killed in fresh clashes in Ukraine

At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded in fresh clashes between Ukrainian troops and independence-seeking forces in Ukraine`s restive east, media reports said on Wednesday.

Kiev: At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded in fresh clashes between Ukrainian troops and independence-seeking forces in Ukraine`s restive east, media reports said on Wednesday.

Heavy artillery fire rocked the town of Stakhanov in Lugansk region on Wednesday morning, killing at least three civilians and wounding 12, Xinhua quoted the authorities as saying.

Media reports estimated the number of deaths in the shelling, which lasted four hours, between four and 10, though it was not confirmed by officials.

The escalation of hostilities was also reported in the strategic flashpoint of fighting, the city of Donetsk, where five civilians were killed and 29 injured since Tuesday.

The Donetsk municipal council reported "massive damage" to private property, public infrastructure and communications of the city following the overnight violence.

Ukrainian military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko told reporters that the situation in the combat area remained tense as insurgents continued the attempts to widen the radius of territories they control.

"Over the past 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and 40 wounded in clashes," Lysenko said during a briefing.

The self-styled leader of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People`s Republic, Igor Plotnytsky, said that an insurgent fighter was killed in the latest clashes with government troops.

The intensification of the fighting in eastern Ukraine began two weeks ago after insurgents launched an offensive to seize the government-controlled airport in Donetsk.

The warring sides in the conflict, which has killed over 4,800 people since mid-April, are repeatedly blaming each other for not complying with a ceasefire agreement signed in September and shelling in residential areas of the conflict-torn cities and towns.

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