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Five more soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine fighting

Two other Ukrainian soldiers were killed Friday.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Local residents pass a checkpoint of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine on January 25. A Ukrainian military spokesman said Monday that five soldiers were killed in fighting on Sunday. Two others died Friday. Photo by Alexander Ermochenko/EPA
Local residents pass a checkpoint of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine on January 25. A Ukrainian military spokesman said Monday that five soldiers were killed in fighting on Sunday. Two others died Friday. Photo by Alexander Ermochenko/EPA

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Five Ukrainian soldiers died in fighting with pro-Russian rebels on several fronts in eastern Ukraine, a government spokesman said Monday.

The casualties, mostly near the town of Avdiivka, north of the city of Donetsk, came on Sunday.

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"Unfortunately, five Ukrainian soldiers were killed, another 14 were wounded as a result of combat actions over the last day," Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk said Monday.

Pro-Russian authorities in the restive Dontesk region reported damage to infrastructure, including villages, and parts of the city of Donetsk were left without gas and electricity. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in combat on Friday.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe confirmed a recent increase in hostilities in eastern Ukraine since an "indefinite truce" was agreed upon in December. An earlier peace deal, known as Minsk II -- brokered in February 2015 by Russia, France and Germany in Minsk, Belarus -- reduced ground combat between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels but did not end it.

The conflict has claimed more than 9,600 military and civilian lives since it began in 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Office reported.

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