8 Ukrainian troops killed, 16 hurt in war-torn east Ukraine

DONETSK: A Ukrainian military spokesman says eight troops have been killed and 16 wounded in war-torn eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours.

The death toll released by the National Security and Defense Council on Wednesday is the highest in weeks, pointing to intensifying fighting in the area. It includes five Ukrainian servicemen killed by a land mine in the Luhansk region.

An armistice signed in Minsk in February requires both sides to pull back heavy weapons from the front line, but international observers vetting that process regularly note violations.

Ukraine's security council said separatist rebels used large-caliber weapons, which should have been withdrawn in line with the Minsk accords, while attacking their positions.

The war has killed more than 6,400 people since April 2014.