3:37 pm - Thursday September 20, 0125

Two civilians killed by Ukrainian troops: Rebels

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Vladimir Putin cautious about being listed as "most powerful person"
Vladimir Putin cautious about being listed as "most powerful person"

Moscow: Pro-Russian rebels acccused Ukrainian troops Wednesday of the deaths of two civilians in the eastern Ukraine`s conflict-torn Donetsk region.

The military staff of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People`s Republic said that a residential area in Novokuibishevski district came under attack by Grad rockets that killed two civilians and wounded four others, Efe reported.

Authorities in the city, which had a population of 500,000 before the conflict erupted, confirmed that sporadic shelling of residential areas took place during the early hours of Wednesday.

The rebels also charged Ukrainian troops with violations of the ceasefire accord that both sides signed Sep 5 in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

The violations were alleged to have been committed at Donetsk Airport, which is controlled by government forces but is under seige by the separatist militia.

The Ukrainian military command said that a group of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers came under fire by the rebels but no one was injured. The incident took place near a Ukrainian-held position in Lugansk.

Apart from the odd incident, the truce announced Sep 5 remains in effect, and the two sides are still committed to the 12 point deal known as the Minsk Agreement, and the document signed in the same city last Saturday.

A separatists` spokesman said that both sides were willing to swap 60 more prisoners Wednesday. Later, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted that ten volunteer brigade members were released, including an officer.

According to the United Nations, the crisis in the Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 3000 people since last April. The eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were inhabited by eight million people before the fighting broke out.

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