Ukrainian official says 7 troops killed, 13 injured in eastern Ukraine as fighting intensifies



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MOSCOW — A Ukrainian official says seven government troops have been killed and 13 injured in the past 24 hours, a day after the warring sides said they had agreed to a cease-fire starting next week.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian presidential administration on military issues Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said Thursday the soldiers were killed outside Mariupol in the south and near Maryinka near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

The report comes a day after both sides in the eastern Ukraine conflict called for a cease-fire on Sept. 1.

Speaking after talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, OSCE representative Martin Sajdik said Wednesday that the sides "agreed to jointly verify the fulfillment of this initiative."

The conflict between Russia-backed separatists and government troops has killed more than 6,800 people.

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