June 23, 2015 / 11:15 AM / 3 years ago

Ukraine says rebels used long-range artillery on villages, one soldier dead

KIEV (Reuters) - The Ukrainian military on Tuesday accused Russian-backed rebels of conducting long-range artillery attacks on villages in the east and said one of its serviceman was killed and 12 wounded in clashes in the past 24 hours.

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in the town of Avdiivka in Donetsk region, Ukraine, June 19, 2015. REUTERS/Maksim Levin

Kiev’s military spokesman Andriy Lysenko did not say where the casualties had occurred, but said that sporadic fighting continued near the rebel-controlled airport complex in Donetsk despite a ceasefire declared last February.

“Enemy shelling of populated places which are at a significant distance from the line of contact has been noticed,” he said a regular briefing at midday.

The villages of Yasnogorodivka and Pervomaisk and the outskirts of Gorlivka further north had been hit, he said.

The separatists did not respond to Kiev’s charges. DAN, the rebel website, said on Tuesday one civilian had been killed by Ukrainian military shelling in the Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk.

Both sides accuse the other of regularly violating the ceasefire deal signed in Minsk, Belarus, and a surge in violence in the past few weeks has caused international monitors to warn of a threat of a wider escalation.

Reporting by Natalya Zinets; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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