" --IANS/EFE"
Kiev, July 30 (IANS/EFE) Ukrainian troops have seized the town of Avdeyevka, on the outskirts of Donetsk, the main stronghold of pro-Russian separatist militias in eastern Ukraine.

Avdeyevka, with about 35,000 inhabitants before the outbreak of the armed conflict, is located about 10 km north of Donetsk.

Ukrainian forces suffered no casualties in the clashes that broke out Tuesday night, Efe reported citing Ukrainian military command as saying.

The Ukrainian troops, who are besieging Donetsk, also continued their offensive on nearby Gorlovka, where 30 people were killed in artillery fire last week.

The upsurge in fighting in recent days has increased casualties among civilians in the rebel regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, both bordering Russia, where nearly 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have sought asylum and another 27,000 have applied for citizenship.

According to UN statistics, the fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of 1,129 people and displaced more than 100,000 since it broke out last April.

--IANS/EFE

pv/bg


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