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OSCE observers come under fire in Ukraine

16 september 2014, 13:23

  International observers with the pan-European security body the OSCE came under fire on Sunday after visiting the site of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash, the organisation said on Monday, AFP reports.

The six monitors were unharmed in the incident, which occurred amid a surge in deadly fighting in the rebel-held Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire.

However, both OSCE vehicles were hit by artillery and one was so heavily damaged by artillery or mortar fire it had to be abandoned, the Vienna-based organisation said in a statement.

It said confrontations in several troublespots in the Donestk region had "intensified" over the past three days, with the "movement of troops and hardware on both sides".

The OSCE brokered a truce deal signed by Kiev, Moscow and pro-Russian separatists on September 5 but the rival sides have accused each other of repeated violations.

Six civilians were killed in shelling near Donetsk airport on Sunday, the deadliest day since the truce.

Sunday's incident came after the OSCE observers had made an "on-site assessment" of the area where flight MH17 was downed in July with the loss of all 298 people on board.

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