Kiev says no troops killed in past day for first time since truce

 Ukraine`s military said Wednesday that one soldier was wounded but no troops were killed over the past 24 hours, the first day without a fatality since a shaky truce came into effect on February 15.

Kiev: Ukraine`s military said Wednesday that no troops were killed over the past 24 hours, the first day without a fatality since a shaky truce came into effect on February 15.

"Over the past day, one soldier was wounded but there were no dead," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists. 

There were also no reports of any civilian deaths from around the conflict zone as Kiev said clashes with pro-Russian rebels had dropped off considerably for the second day running. 

Army spokesman Anatoliy Stemalkh said rebels shelled government positions twice in the Lugansk region overnight but that there had been no firing reported around the flashpoint port city of Mariupol.

Separatists from the Donetsk People`s Republic said there were no ceasefire violations reported overnight. 

An AFP journalist in the rebel-held stronghold of Donetsk said the sound of shelling there had stopped almost entirely for the first time in 10 days. 

The failure to stop firing after the ceasefire nominally came into force has delayed the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline. 

Kiev says it will only start withdrawing its big guns in accordance with a peace plan signed in Minsk once shooting stops definitively. 

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