August 20, 2014 - 15:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Fighting in Ukraine's Donetsk has killed 34 local residents and wounded 29 others in the past 24 hours, authorities said Wednesday, Aug 20, according to the Associated Press.
Several neighborhoods in Donetsk have been hit with artillery fire in the last few days as fighting on the outskirts has intensified.
The regional administration quoted the death toll of 34 as of noon Wednesday in a statement on its website.
Earlier, a Ukrainian official said nine troops were killed in overnight fighting in a town near Donetsk as the government battled to gain control of a major railroad and highway. It was not immediately clear if those deaths were in addition to the 34 or included in that count.
Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security Council, said nine soldiers were killed and 22 wounded in fighting in Ilovaysk overnight.
Fighting is continuing in Ilovaysk after more than a day of hostilities although government forces have gained overall control over the town, Lysenko said.
Ilovaysk lies on a major railroad and a highway that connects the regional capital of Donetsk to the Russian border.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend in Kiev before meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what could be the first meeting between the two leaders since June.