The casualty figures for the pro-Russian separatists could not be
independently confirmed though a rebel commander said on Thursday
the rebels had sustained "heavy losses" when they were outgunned by
government forces backed by heavy armor.
The government forces said seven of their own number had been killed
in Thursday's fighting. The new fighting on Friday was about 100 km
(60 miles) from the border with Russia.
Fighting broke out just east of the town of Krasny Liman early on
Thursday after pro-Russian separatists refused to lay down their
weapons in line with a peace plan proposed by President Petro
Poroshenko, the government forces said.
The government forces have been gradually squeezing rebels in the
area though separatists, who rose up against central rule from Kiev
following the overthrow of a president sympathetic to Moscow, still
control the strategic city of Slaviansk.
Vladyslav Seleznyov, a spokesman for Kiev's "anti-terrorist
operation", said about 300 separatists had been killed in action
around the villages of Yampil and Zakitne which included artillery
fire and air attacks.
Heavy weapons had been seized from the separatists, including an
armored personnel carrier, a truck with a high-caliber machine gun
mounted on it, a shoulder-launched missile, grenade launchers and
small arms, Seleznyov said on his Facebook page.
[to top of second column]
"Losses to Ukrainian servicemen are seven dead and 30 wounded.
Military action is continuing," Seleznyov said.
(Writing by Richard Balmforth, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.