Ukraine urges civilians to stay indoors amid eastern fighting

Ukraine`s Interior Minister on Tuesday urged civilians across parts of the restive Donetsk region to stay indoors amid escalating fighting in the separatist east.

Kiev: Ukraine`s Interior Minister on Tuesday urged civilians across parts of the restive Donetsk region to stay indoors amid escalating fighting in the separatist east.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page that residents in the rebel stronghold city of Lugansk and the neighbouring towns of Kramatorsk and Krasnyi Lyman should not venture outside "in order to avoid risking their lives".

He added that a "very intense gunfight" was raging on Tuesday morning in the small nearby town of Semenivka.

Avakov`s comments came a day after several hundred separatist gunmen attacked a Ukrainian border guard service camp in the neighbouring separatist region of Lugansk.
One of the largest rebel offensives of the seven-week insurgency led to a day-long standoff in which Kiev officials said five pro-Russian gunmen were killed.

The military reported suffering no fatalities in Lugansk on Monday and it was not immediately clear if the standoff had been resolved by Tuesday morning.

Lugansk`s self-declared "prime minister" Vasyl Nikitin told AFP that at least three civilians and the separatist administration`s top health official died in the violence.

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