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Three soldiers killed in east Ukraine: Kiev

November 24, 2014

Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 24 wounded in fighting between government forces and Kremlin-backed rebels in the war-torn east over the past day, the military said Monday.

Government positions at strategic flashpoints around the conflict zone came under attack 56 times, the military said.

The mayor’s office in the rebel-held industrial hub of Donetsk said 12 people were hospitalised with shrapnel wounds over the weekend as mortar fire continued to rock the city.

Gas pipelines were also hit by heavy shelling, city hall said, leaving over 5,000 homes in the beleaguered insurgent bastion without gas in below-minus temperatures.

A pro-rebel British freelance journalist, Graham Phillips, who works for Russian state media, was also being treated for minor shrapnel wounds after being injured at a frontline insurgent position, separatist outlets reported.

The casualties are the latest in more than seven months of bloody conflict that has left more than 4,300 people dead and displaced almost one million, according to UN figures.

About 1,000 people have been killed since the government and rebels inked a nominal truce deal in early September that failed to stop deadly artillery duels at frontline hotspots.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.