UN: 9,000 killed in Ukraine conflict, but now violence eases

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. human rights office says more than 9,000 people have died in 21 months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, even as a new cease-fire has largely held and contributed to a sharp decline in casualties since mid-August.

The office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said a “cease-fire within a cease-fire” agreed in late August, and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from front lines, has calmed violence between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

However, OHCHR cautioned in its 12th monitoring report on the Ukraine conflict released Wednesday that skirmishes in early November along the contact line have fanned fears of a possible resumption of shelling of population centers.

The latest report, covering Aug. 16 to Nov. 15, said 9,098 people, combatants and civilians, have died in the conflict.

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