Heavy Fighting Continues in Ukraine

Heavy Fighting Continues in Ukraine

AVDIIVKA, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine reported Wednesday that at least one soldier was killed overnight and more injured in the country's east as heavy fighting between government troops and Russia-backed rebels continued.

Heavy shelling was heard in the center of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk Wednesday morning. The flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine, which began over the weekend, killed eight people late on Monday and early Tuesday including civilians, and injuring dozens on both sides.

The Ukrainian government's press office for the military operation in the east reported one soldier killed, and nine soldiers and one civilian injured late on Tuesday.

In Makiivka, the rebel-controlled northeastern suburb of Donetsk, two coal miners were injured Wednesday morning by shelling as they were walking to work, the rebels' Donetsk News Agency reported.

Fighting is concentrated around the suburb of Avdiivka on the northern outskirts of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk where residents have been without electricity for days.

Fighting cut the power supply to Avdiivka which has been without heating and electricity for days, but water service was restored on Tuesday.

An Associated Press reporter outside Avdiivka saw a transporter carrying Grad multiple missile launcher with empty rounds drive away from the front line Wednesday.

Grad is among heavy weaponry that both warring parties committed to pull back when they signed a cease-fire agreement in Minsk in 2015.

In Donetsk, local residents reported incessant outgoing and incoming artillery salvos heard throughout the night and in the morning, an intensity that the city has not seen in months. On Wednesday morning, an Associated Press reporter saw rebel artillery positions in the center of the city.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned the use of weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements and called for "an immediate return to the cease-fire regime."

(KA)