Two soldiers killed

KIEV: Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in clashes between government forces and pro-Russian rebels over the past 24 hours, a military spokesman in Kiev said on Saturday. The latest casualties came after

talks to resolve the nearly two-year conflict floundered in Paris last week, with Moscow and Kiev saying they could not agree on polls in the rebel-held east. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said one of the two soldiers was killed in a mortar attack in Avdiyivka, just outside the rebels’ de facto capital Donetsk. The second serviceman was killed when Ukrainian troops came under infantry fire some 25 kilometres north of Donetsk. Another soldier was also injured in the attack, Lysenko said. Lysenko said there had been a “sharp increase in attacks and provocations” by rebels in the past day. He said rebels were using “mortar, armoured vehicles and artillery” which are prohibited under the Minsk peace agreements aimed at ending the conflict.