2 civilians killed in surge of shelling in east Ukraine as latest peace talks founder

Authorities in east Ukraine say two civilians in a government-controlled area have been killed amid a surge of shelling as combat flares between the armed forces and separatist rebels.

Luhansk region governor Hennadiy Moskal said in a statement on his official website that an elderly couple died when their car was struck by mortar fire Wednesday morning. The statement said the strike occurred 20 kilometers (12 miles) into government-held territory.

Military spokesmen daily report fighting along several points of the entire 450-kilometer front line.

As Ukraine's conflict shows little sign of abating, talks on implementing a shaky February cease-fire agreement have foundered. Negotiators from the warring sides met in Belarus on Tuesday, but the session concluded without obvious progress.

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