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Five killed in fresh Ukraine violence

The prisoner swap raises hope there will be no casualties, like this woman whose home was destroyed in the ongoing conflict.. Photo: Getty
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Five civilians have been killed in fresh violence in eastern Ukraine, where more explosions and gunfire rang out on Sunday, two days before the start of a planned truce.

Three civilians were killed and 10 were wounded overnight in the rebel bastion of Donetsk, where further explosions and gunfire were heard Sunday morning, local authorities said.

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The pro-Kiev governor of the rebel region of Lugansk said two civilians were killed in the village of Kryakivka after a shell fell in the yard of a house.

Lugansk, Donetsk and the area around Debaltseve have been the main areas hit by fighting, according to the military.

Observers for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe have also reported several convoys totalling 60 unidentified vehicles headed toward Donetsk from the city of Shakhtarsk, which is also under rebel control.

Kiev has announced a new round of talks with the pro-Russian rebels in Minsk this week to try and rescue a tattered September ceasefire.

The talks are to be held on Tuesday, also the date set by both sides for a fresh truce to come into force.

Fighting between Ukraine and the rebels in the east has claimed more than 4,300 lives.

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