Two civilians killed in fighting in Ukraine's Donetsk

Two civilians killed in fighting in Ukraine's Donetsk

DONETSK, Ukraine - Two civilians were killed in fighting in the rebel-held eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where fierce battles were raging near the airport on Wednesday, city hall said.

It was not immediately clear when the deaths occurred, but they appeared to be the first since Ukrainian lawmakers approved a peace plan on Tuesday that included self-rule for the rebellious east.

"Ukrainian army units are keeping the ceasefire," National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters.

"But illegal military groups and Russian troops continue to fire at the positions of the anti-terrorist forces, particularly near Donetsk airport." Donetsk city council said the two civilians were killed and another three injured near a market, which had also been a target of heavy shelling earlier this week.

A total of 30 civilians and soldiers have been killed in eastern Ukraine since a truce was signed on September 5, most of them in the Donetsk region, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

The airport is currently under the control of government forces after a major battle there in May. It has emerged as the major flashpoint since the ceasefire.

There is no information about casualties among the ranks of the pro-Russian separatists who have been fighting for independence from Kiev since April.

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