A further 2 Ukrainian troops killed in eastern Ukraine

A Ukrainian official says at least two Ukrainian troops have been killed and three injured in the past 24 hours in renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government troops has killed more than 9,600 people since the conflict began in April 2014. A 2015 cease-fire deal did not completely stop fighting but did lower its intensity.

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian defense ministry, said in a statement on Friday that Ukrainian casualties continue to mount after what Kiev says was a rebel offensive south-east of rebel stronghold Donetsk.

A total of 8 troops have been killed outside the town of Svitlodarsk since fighting there began on Sunday. Rebels have accused the Ukrainian government of launching an attack on their positions there.