Four killed ahead of new Ukraine peace talks

 Ukraine on Monday reported the death of four soldiers in clashes with pro-Russian rebels that came only hours ahead of fresh talks on ending the 15-month separatist revolt.

Kiev: Ukraine on Monday reported the death of four soldiers in clashes with pro-Russian rebels that came only hours ahead of fresh talks on ending the 15-month separatist revolt.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters that another 15 servicemen had been wounded in the past 24 hours of fighting across the eastern Russian-speaking provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk.

The two sides and Russia on Monday launched a fresh round of European-mediated negotiations in the Belarussian capital Minsk that hope to salvage a largely-ignored ceasefire and political reconciliation agreement signed nearly six months ago.