16 soldiers wounded in Ukraine clashes: Army

16 soldiers wounded in Ukraine clashes: Army

KIEV: (APP) Sixteen Ukrainian soldiers were wounded within a 24-hour period in clashes with pro-Russian rebels in the conflict-torn east, despite a fresh truce struck last week, the army said on Saturday.

The casualties, announced by army spokesman Andriy Lysenko, took place a day after rebels in the self-proclaimed Donestsk People's Republic seized a drone used by international observers monitoring the ceasefire.

The OSCE monitoring mission said armed men north of the rebel's de facto capital of Donetsk seized one of the unarmed aerial vehicles (UAV) it uses to assess ceasefire violations.

After a recent flare-up of deadly fighting, a truce deal announced by Russia and Ukraine came into effect Monday, in an effort to pacify the conflict that has raged for nearly three years and claimed more than 10,000 lives

Both Kiev and the rebels have accused each other of carrying on attacks despite the truce.

The 57-state Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe reported on Friday a de-escalation of violence since the truce but said it could not confirm that the sides had pulled backed their big guns from the front as promised.

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