Four killed in gun battle in Eastern Ukraine despite peace accord

|By:, SA News Editor

A gun battle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk has reportedly left five people dead, including three pro-Russian separatist militias. The two other dead were from a group that attacked in the militias, who were at a checkpoint.

The incident has come as the separatists refuse to vacate government buildings and other positions they've taken up despite the signing of an international agreement last week to "de-escalate" the crisis.

Under the deal, the buildings were to be vacated and armed militias disbanded. The Ukraine government has pledged not carry out military operations until after the Easter holiday ends on Monday.

A mediator from Europe's OSCE security body, which has been tasked with trying to help implement the international accord, traveled to eastern Ukraine yesterday in order to try to persuade the militias to stand down. The OSCE also plans to increase the number of monitors in Ukraine to 500 from 100. However, protesters want Ukraine's interim government to step down first.

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