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5 civilians dead as fresh battles rock east Ukraine’s Donetsk

Kiev: Fresh clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels rocked Donetsk in the country’s war-torn east today , killing at least five civilians and wounding 29 others ahead of high-stakes peace talks, officials said.

The deaths came with concerns mounting over the fate of civilians in the nine-month-old conflict that has already killed more than 4,800 people.

Rebels allegedly backed by Moscow have been accused of launching attacks from residential areas, drawing fire from Ukrainian forces.

“Shelling continued during the night in Donetsk,” the city’s administration said in a statement.

“Five civilians were killed. Twenty nine received wounds of varying severity. As of 9:30 am, military actions in the city continue. The sound of heavy weapons can be heard everywhere.”

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France were due to meet later Wednesday in Berlin in a bid to revive peace talks, with a September truce left in tatters by a recent upsurge in fighting. The UN Security Council in New York was also due to discuss the crisis today.

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