UN: Death Toll From Ukraine Conflict Passes 5,000
The United Nations human rights agency says the death toll from the conflict in eastern Ukraine has passed 5,000.
Spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters Friday that the death toll could be far higher than the official estimate of 5,086 deaths, based on data collected by U.N. human rights monitors since the beginning of hostilities in April.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the Ukrainian government of starting a surge in violence in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are battling Ukrainian troops to gain territory. Mr. Putin made the claim Friday in a meeting with senior officials.
The United Nations says it has counted 262 deaths in the fighting in the past nine days.
Earlier Friday, a pro-Russian separatist leader said he will not push for new peace talks with the Ukrainian government, vowing instead to gain control of more territory in the east.
Russian news agencies quoted rebel chief Alexander Zakharchenko, based in the eastern city of Donetsk, as saying that his forces are launching a new offensive to expand their territory.
On Thursday in Donetsk, at least 13 people were killed when a trolley bus was hit in an apparent mortar attack, sparking accusations of blame from both sides.
Gunmen Attack Lebanese Army Outpost
Lebanese security officials say the military is clashing with gunmen who attacked an army outpost near the Syrian border.
Reuters reports three gunmen were killed in the clashes Friday close to the northeastern village of Ras Baalbek.
It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded.
Officials say troops were shelling positions with artillery.
Members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State group have launched similar attacks in recent months.