DONETSK, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Shelling and clashes continued in Ukraine's turbulent eastern provinces despite the previously agreed ceasefire, killing at least two civilians in the besieged city of Donetsk, the local self-defense forces said in a statement Saturday.
"Ukrainian army troops fired Grad [missiles] at the Kirov district and Savrasov Street [in Donetsk]. Two civilians died after a shell hit a residential house," the statement published on the official website of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) government said.
Earlier reports said that Donetsk had been targeted for shelling throughout Saturday, with a mortar round hitting a pumping station in the Kuibyshev district and wounding several employees, according to the city hall.
Violence continues in the area near Smile, a village west of the city Lugansk, where militias are battling with pro-Kiev forces, according to both government and DPR sources. Smile (pronounced as smee-le) has been a flashpoint in the conflict this week.
The pro-government Channel Five TV channel cited a Ukrainian serviceman as saying Saturday that their army brigade had been encircled, while a source in the militia headquarters said they were following through on the ceasefire agreement and not attacking unless they had to defend civilians.
"At the same time, we are forced to act on the military provocations and stop artillery attacks on civilians," a spokesman at the Luhansk militia headquarters said.
In April, Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation in the country's Donetsk and Luhansk, where independence supporters refused to accept the new government that was put in power following a coup in February.
In early September, the warring parties reached a ceasefire agreement at a meeting in the Belarusian capital Minsk in the presence of Russian and OSCE representatives. They agreed to stop all fighting in the east, pull heavy artillery from the line of engagement and let in OSCE monitors. Since then, both Ukrainian troops and militia forces have accused the other of repeated shelling.