World

Rebels in eastern Ukraine accuse government forces of using heavy weaponry

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier  speaks to journalists  at the foreign ministry's guest house  in Berlin, Germany, Friday  Nov. 6, 2015. Germany’s foreign minister is meeting his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.       ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to journalists at the foreign ministry's guest house in Berlin, Germany, Friday Nov. 6, 2015. Germany‚Äôs foreign minister is meeting his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine. ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier  speaks to journalists  at the foreign ministry's guest house  in Berlin, Germany, Friday  Nov. 6, 2015 after he  met with  his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.      ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to journalists at the foreign ministry's guest house in Berlin, Germany, Friday Nov. 6, 2015 after he met with his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine. ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier  speaks to journalists  at the foreign ministry's guest house  in Berlin, Germany, Friday  Nov. 6, 2015 after he  met  with  his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.      ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to journalists at the foreign ministry's guest house in Berlin, Germany, Friday Nov. 6, 2015 after he met with his Russian, Ukrainian and French counterparts in an effort to keep up momentum toward fulfilling a peace deal for eastern Ukraine. ( Britta Pedersen/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine have accused government forces of shelling residential areas under their control with heavy artillery.

The uptick in fighting, reported by both side in the past few days, comes as the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany are gathering Friday for talks to discuss a peace settlement for the conflict which has already claimed more than 8,000 lives.

The rebel mouthpiece Donetsk News Agency said on Friday that Ukrainian forces used Grad multiple rocket launchers Thursday night and Friday morning north of Donetsk.

Ukrainian forces also accused the rebels of violating the ongoing cease-fire.

The Sept. 1 cease-fire has largely held with both sides pulling back weaponry from their positions. Heavy weaponry was supposed to have been withdrawn weeks ago.