Kiev: At least 15 people, including seven civilians, were killed during battles in eastern Ukraine since Monday, official reports said Tuesday.
Five government troops were killed and an unspecified number of the troops wounded as independence-seeking insurgents intensified their offensive on Ukrainian soldiers, Xinhua quoted Andrei Lysenko, spokesman for the National Security and Defence Council, as saying.
Insurgents deployed tanks and heavy artillery during the fighting around Donetsk airport, forcing Ukrainian troops to open fire in response, Lysenko said, adding the rebels suffered "significant losses" during the battles.
One of the insurgent leaders, said at least three soldiers from rebel forces were killed and 36 wounded during confrontation in Donetsk.
Meanwhile, Donetsk city council said four civilians died and 10 injured as the result of shelling in the city's residential area.
The latest report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said over 3,600 people have been killed and around 8,440 wounded since the start of the violent conflict in eastern Ukraine in mid-April.