• Ukraine lobbies NATO, IMF as deaths mount


    DONETSK: Ukraine dispatched top envoys to Washington and Brussels on Wednesday to secure help in the face of a surge in clashes with pro-Russian insurgents that killed eight more civilians and troops.

    A one-month truce in Ukraine is teetering on the verge of collapse just weeks before a general election meant to reunify the country after half a year of warfare in the east has killed nearly 3,400 people.

    The number of civilians dead from shelling and mortar attacks grew to 19 since the weekend when Donetsk authorities reported three additional deaths in the main rebel-held city overnight.

    An AFP team also saw two bodies of victims of rocket fire that hit a supermarket and some residential buildings in a northeastern section of the half-deserted city that was once home to nearly a million people.

    National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said fighters killed three and wounded 12 Ukrainian soldiers in renewed attacks.

    Ukrainian authorities have reported the death of more than 100 troops and civilians since separatist leaders and Kiev signed a September 5 truce that was backed by both Moscow and EU states.



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