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Three Government Soldiers Killed In Eastern Ukraine, Despite Cease-Fire

A Ukrainian Defense Ministry statement said Russia-backed separatists had violated a frequently-breached cease-fire, firing machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars. (file photo)

Ukraine's military says that three of its soldiers have been killed and four wounded in clashes that took place in the eastern part of the country during the previous 24 hours.

A Defense Ministry statement on January 11 said Russia-backed separatists violated a frequently-breached cease-fire seven times in skirmishes where separatists fired machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars.

The separatists, meanwhile, claimed two civilians were wounded in mortar and rifle attacks by Ukrainian government forces.

Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed by fighting between Kyiv's forces and the Russia-backed separatists who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Cease-fire deals announced as part of the Minsk accords -- September 2014 and February 2015 pacts aimed at resolving the conflict -- have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached in late 2017 and was meant to begin on December 23, but both sides have accused each other of cease-fire violations since then.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS