At least 74 civilians were killed in clashes between government forces and independence-seeking insurgents in Ukraine's Donetsk region over the past three days, local authorities said Thursday.
According to the press service of Donetsk City Council, another 116 people were wounded as a result of fighting since Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, two civilians were killed and seven injured in Donetsk city, one of the rebel strongholds, when artillery fire hit several buildings in the residential area, the press service said in a statement.
In the past 24 hours, nine Ukrainian soldiers were also killed in fighting with the insurgents, and 18 were wounded, according to Andrei Lysenko, a spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council.
Ukraine has intensified its offensive against the rebels since mid-July after the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in insurgents-controlled Donetsk region, which killed all 298 people on board.
Since then, Kiev claimed major progress in its efforts to retake the rebel-seized areas. KIEV, Aug. 14 (Xinhua)