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Kiev reports heavy losses in fresh clashes in E. Ukraine

KIEV, May 30 (Xinhua) — Three Ukrainian servicemen were killed and eight others were wounded in clashes with independence-seeking insurgents in eastern regions in the past 24 hours, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said here Monday.

"Ukrainian troops sustained all these losses in the Donetsk and Mariupol directions," Lysenko told a media briefing.

Meanwhile, the press service of the government military operation in the east said that insurgents attacked Ukrainian positions 25 times over the past day with heavy weapons, which is banned under Minsk ceasefire agreement.

For their part, the rebel forces blamed the Ukrainian army for failing to observe the truce.

The self-styled defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Lugansk republic said the government forces shelled their position 11 times in the past day, while the rebel-run DAN news agency accused the Ukrainian army of firing 230 shells in Donetsk region.

The rebels have not commented on their casualties.

Government troops and insurgents have been locked in the confrontation in eastern Ukraine since April 2014, leaving more than 9,300 people dead and about 22,000 others wounded.

After more than seven months of a relative calm, the situation in the restive region has escalated in mid-May, with both sides blaming each other for fueling the tensions.

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