Ukrainian authorities say three soldiers have been killed and two wounded in the Donbas region in the country's east as their car exploded.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian government, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, reported the deaths during a Wednesday press briefing in Kiev. Lysenko said another 12 servicemen were injured in separate incidents.

Despite a series of shaky ceasefire agreements, fighting in the area has sporadically flared up and parts of the conflict zone are said to be rife with land mines. It is unclear if the explosion reported Wednesday was caused by a land mine.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine after fighting broke out in April 2014 when Russian-backed separatists took over swatches of Ukraine's eastern regions.