Sat | Dec 10, 2016

UN says hundreds killed during ceasefire

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP): AT LEAST 331 deaths have been reported in eastern Ukraine since last month's ceasefire deal between Russian-backed separatists and government troops, the United Nations (UN) said yesterday.

Hostilities are persisting in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk, as well as around the towns of Debaltseve and Schastye.

Donetsk airport, the focus of much of the fighting, has no immediate tactical significance for separatist forces devoid of any air power. However, the Govern-ment's hold on the facility gives it a strategic position to attack rebel positions in the city.

At least 3,660 people have been killed over six months of fighting, according to UN estimates. The UN says some deaths reported since the September 5 truce agreement may include individuals killed before that date.

Donetsk city hall reported on Wednesday that three civilians died overnight from shelling.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement that the security crisis needed to be tackled so residents of east Ukraine could reclaim their rights to education, adequate health care, housing and employment.

The UN estimates some five million people are being deprived of their basic rights in east Ukraine.