Pro-Russian rebels kill 2 Ukrainian soldiers, injure 8

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed and 8 wounded in fresh clashes between Ukrainian Army and Pro-Russian separatists

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Russian-backed separatists refuel tanks in a field near Torez, eastern Ukraine.

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another eight wounded in fighting with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern conflict zone in the country, a military official in Kiev said on Saturday.  

A wave of cease fire deals have helped to ease the fighting, but sporadic clashes persisted on the frontline.

"As a result of fighting two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and another eight were wounded," Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told journalists.

He also claimed that the pro-Russian separatist rebels were sporadically shooting using banned heavy weaponry over 24 hours with no silent areas on the frontline.

Also in another incident, three Ukrainian officers were wounded in a bombing caused by an unidentified explosive device, he added.

The government-held town of Avdiivka, some 10 kilometers (six miles) north of the rebels' de facto capital Donetsk, came under fire from 82- and 120- millimetre calibre mortars,  Motuzyanyk told reporters.

Similar heavy weapons are prohibited under the peace agreements aimed at ending the 23-month conflict.

In April 2014, revolt against Ukraine's new pro-Western leadership erupted in eastern Ukraine. More than 9,000 people have been killed and more than 20,000 injured.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of backing the fighters and sending regular troops across the border but Moscow has denied the accusations.