34 Killed in Rebel-Held Ukraine City 08/20 06:28
Fighting in Ukraine's mostly rebel-held region of Donetsk has killed 34
local residents and wounded 29 others in the past 24 hours, authorities said
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Fighting in Ukraine's mostly rebel-held region of
Donetsk has killed 34 local residents and wounded 29 others in the past 24
hours, authorities said Wednesday.
Government troops trying to quell the pro-Russia insurgency in eastern
Ukraine have been focusing on encircling Donetsk, the largest city still in
rebel hands, and driving the rebels out of the city of Luhansk. Several
neighborhoods in Donetsk have been hit with artillery fire in the last few days
as fighting on the outskirts has intensified.
The Donetsk regional administration quoted the death toll of 34 as of noon
Wednesday in a statement on its website.
Earlier, a Ukrainian official said nine troops were killed in overnight
fighting in a town near Donetsk as the government battled to gain control of a
major railroad and highway. It was not immediately clear if those deaths were
in addition to the 34 or included in that count.
Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security Council, said
nine soldiers were killed and 22 wounded in fighting in Ilovaysk overnight.
Fighting is continuing in Ilovaysk after more than a day of hostilities
although government forces have gained overall control over the town, Lysenko
Ilovaysk lies on a major railroad and a highway that connects the regional
capital of Donetsk to the Russian border.
The Kiev government also has pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the
conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced 300,000 since
fighting began in mid-April.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel
this weekend in Kiev before meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir
Putin in what could be the first meeting between the two leaders since June.