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Reuters: Battle erupts in eastern Ukraine, four Ukrainian soldiers killed: regional chief

Fighting erupted between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday and four Ukrainian servicemen have been killed, the regional administration chief said.

Gennady Moskal, governor of Luhansk region on the border with Russia, said on his website that separatists opened fire on government positions with mortar and artillery near the village of Katerinovka.

"According to preliminary data, four Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and two others have been wounded, one of them seriously," Moskal said.

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. says it supports Iraqi ground force efforts to take back Ramadi.

Ramadi battle: IS prepares to defend seized Iraqi city.

Iraqi troops repel Islamic State attack on Anbar town.

U.S. fears Shi'ite militias could worsen Iraqi sectarian fires.

Syrian insurgents seize last military base in Idlib province.

Lebanese army continues to clash with militants along Syrian border.

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemen's capital Sanaa: residents.

Saudi advertises for swordsmen as execution rate soars. Headhunting: Saudi Arabia hiring 8 new executioners after 2015 beheadings hit 85.

Trial of Washington Post reporter in Iran to start next week.

ASIA

Drug use rises in Afghanistan.

Pakistan military says its spies will cooperate with Afghanistan.

Bomb outside Afghan justice ministry kills five, wounds dozens. Deadly bombing hits Afghanistan's capital.

11 Afghan police get year in jail for mob killing, 8 go free.

Myanmar army blames ethnic rebels for shelling inside China.

Homeless Nepalis sleep in the open as monsoon rains approach.

Ex-Thai PM pleads not guilty in rice scheme trial.

Thailand’s government approves referendum on constitution.

Analysts: China, US remain divided over North Korea sanctions.

UN's Ban to visit North Korea.

AFRICA

Suicide bomber kills 8 in northeast Nigeria.

Algerian army kills 21 extremists who planned to hit capital.

Burundi crisis won’t delay Presidential election.

Burundi police fire tear gas at protesters. Burundi's Pierre Nkurunziza in 'no revenge' pledge.

Masses of Burundi refugees show up in Tanzania.

South Sudan rebels ask oil companies to close operations as clashes escalate.

Amnesty documents torture allegations in Morocco.

Ethiopia's newest party takes on ruling juggernaut.

Libya state oil firm opens books to buyers to soothe payment fears.

Islamic State solidifies foothold in Libya to expand reach.

Egypt arrests 600 terrorists in April.

EUROPE

Kiev shows off captured 'Russian soldiers' to media.

NATO's Stoltenberg tells Russia's Lavrov to pull out of Ukraine.

Ukraine govt submits bill allowing moratorium on foreign debt payments.

Merkel gives Greece 12 days to reach funding deal.

Greece enters 'final stage' of bailout deal. Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis.

Spain arrests 16 for defending terror acts on Internet.

Prince Charles meets Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

UK police: 7 arrested over London's Hatton Garden heist.

Vatican says Pope meant no offense calling Abbas 'angel of peace'.

17 dead in Azebaijan as high-rise combusts in seconds.

AMERICAS

Top Democrat sounds ‘alarm bells’ over Obama rhetoric on Islamic State.

U.S. charges three Chinese professors, three others with economic espionage.

US State Department considers January release for Clinton emails.

US, Cuba to focus on re-opening embassies.

Flood, mudslide sweep away homes in Colombia.

Bolivian army step in as bakers go on strike.

President Obama gets his own Twitter account.

America's biggest ranch, which is larger than New York City, goes on sale for $725million in Texas.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

European nations synchronise laws on Islamist 'foreign fighters'.

NATO: Terrorists may use migrant cover.

Islamic State learns lessons from U.S. raid: jihadist sources.

Drone strike kills five suspected militants in northwest Pakistan.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Air bag recall expected to be largest in U.S. history.

ILO: Only a quarter of workers have permanent jobs.

Protests grow against Facebook's Internet.org

Icahn says Apple will still introduce TV - CNBC.

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