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Death toll in eastern Ukraine reaches 3,682 - UN

The death toll as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine has grown by 55 people over the past week to reach 3,682, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Friday.

The UN OCHA's figures include those killed in the Malaysian Boeing crash in eastern Ukraine. The Office also said 8,871 people have been wounded in the region. The previous report said the number of wounded was 8,446.

The UN also pointed to the growth of the number of internally displaced persons - to 402,000 from 379,000. The number of refugees has not changed and totals 427,000; most of them have hidden in Russia.

Some 5.1 million people are currently in areas affected by hostilities, the OCHA said.

According to the UN, some 3,500 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine's war-torn southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev's military operation conducted since mid-April to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics (DPR and LPR).

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners during talks mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.

On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report published September 9 that "Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.

[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 10Oct14]

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