Ukraine: Civilians killed while queuing for aid

Full-blown fighting between the rebels and government forces erupted anew earlier this month

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The Independent Online

More than a dozen civilians were killed by artillery fire in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk yesterday as fighting intensified between pro-Russia separatists and government troops.

Five people were killed as they were waiting for humanitarian aid outside a community centre and two people were killed in the same neighbourhood when a mortar shell landed near a bus stop. More deaths were reported in sporadic artillery fire in the west of Donetsk.

Full-blown fighting between the rebels and government forces erupted anew earlier this month following a period of relative tranquility. Hostilities now seem to be focused around Debaltseve, a railway hub which could prove a crucial link between the rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk to the north-east.

Hopes are still being invested in reviving the peace process. Two rebel representatives went to Minsk for talks on Friday, but returned to eastern Ukraine a few hours later after the Ukrainian representative failed to turn up.

AP

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