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12 killed in Ukraine violence

East Ukraine has suffered the worst violence in more than a week, as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government troops in the region killed at least 12 people and wounded 32.

Col Andriy Lysenko said in a briefing in Kiev today that at least nine servicemen had been killed in the last day and 27 had been injured.

The city council of Donetsk said in a statement published online that at least three civilians were killed and five wounded in overnight shelling of a residential area in the north, where fighting has centred on the government-held airport.

Violence has continued despite a ceasefire declared on September 5. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been at pains to prove to a sceptical audience at home that his peace plan is working.

Since fighting began in April, the conflict has claimed at least 3,500 lives. Last week, representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the rebels signed another agreement that would require both sides to remove all heavy artillery from the frontline, creating a buffer zone that would allow the ceasefire to be better enforced.

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