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5 soldiers slain in fresh East Ukraine fighting

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Ukraine says at least five government soldiers have been killed in fresh exchanges of fire with pro-Russia forces in its eastern regions in 24 hours.

“Over the past day, we lost five Ukrainian soldiers and 16 were wounded,” Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on Friday.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s office in the flashpoint city of Donetsk has announced that at least 22 civilians and soldiers have been wounded in the latest shelling between pro-Russians and Ukrainian troopers.

“As a result of fighting…, 15 people suffered shrapnel wounds of varying degrees of seriousness,” the press office for the Donetsk city hall said.

Ukrainian officials said pro-Russia forces pounded army positions around the city of Lugansk overnight, using mortar rounds and Grad rockets, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Additionally, seven paratroopers were wounded when an improvised explosive device went off during their patrol near the village of Sokolnyky, located in Lugansk region.

On November 1, six Ukrainian soldiers lost their lives when they engaged in clashes with pro-Russians in the Donetsk airport.

According to latest figures by the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and over 9,300 others injured since the eastern Ukraine fighting began in mid-April.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions became the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army after the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush protests.

Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

The deaths further strain the fragile ceasefire, which came into force on September 5.

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