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Ukraine Attacks Pro-Russian Separatists, Retakes Three Villages

KIEV, Ukraine - Four Ukrainian troops were killed as forces carried out over 100 attacks on rebel positions and cleared separatists from three villages in the last day, a military official said Wednesday. Fighting in the country's east has increased since a much-violated 10-day cease-fire was allowed to expire Monday. President Petro Poroshenko said conditions for further peace talks had not been met as rebels refused to disarm, hand back seized border posts or allow international monitoring.

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National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said three military personnel died in rebel attacks on government vehicles and checkpoints and 10 were wounded. The federal border guards said one guardsman was killed when the Novoazovsk crossing point came under attack by rebels with mortars in the Donetsk region. Donetsk is one of two eastern regions where Ukrainian forces are fighting pro-Russia separatists. The insurrection broke out after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by protesters wanting closer ties with the European Union. Calling Yanukovych's removal a coup, Russia seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March.

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- The Associated Press