Fighting flared between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in two separate parts of eastern Ukraine overnight with several civilians killed by shelling, Ukrainian police and separatist sources said on Monday.
The clashes, near Mariupol in the southeast and at Gorlivka, a rebel-held town, formed part of an upsurge in violence which put further strain on a fragile ceasefire between the two sides.
Regional police in Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, said at least one man and a young woman were killed when rebels shelled the town of Sartan, about 20 km (12 miles) away on Sunday. Several people, including a 10-year-old girl, were taken to hospital with wounds.
"On one street there were five houses which had been really badly damaged by shell fragments. One house had a well-tended garden with vines and a vegetable patch. But the house had been wrecked by shells and I saw an enormous pool of blood," a local news photographer, Mykola Ryabchenko, told Reuters by telephone.
The separatist website, DAN, said at least three people had been killed and four wounded as a result of government shelling of Gorlivka, a regular frontline hot spot northeast of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
There was no immediate government confirmation of this report.
"They were using heavy weapons. We have three men dead. Another four have various injuries," DAN quoted the separatist mayor of the town as saying.