KIEV, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors the situation in the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine, said on Friday it has recorded a sharp spike in the number of civilian deaths in Lugansk region.
"Over the past two weeks, we have confirmed at least five civilian fatalities compared to 19 for all of 2016," Alexander Hug, the deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine, told reporters.
Particularly, he noted that a 30-year-old man was hit by shrapnel from artillery rounds as he went to work in Golubivka village, while another victim was shot in the back in Zolotoe town.
According to the international monitors, at least four civilians were wounded in the neighbouring Donetsk region over the past two weeks, but there were no fatalities.
Last year, at least 83 civilians were killed and 305 were wounded in eastern Ukraine, with three-fourth of the casualties occurring in Donetsk region, which had been the epicentre of the fighting.
Overall, the almost three-year-old conflict has claimed the lives of some 10,000 people, including civilians and combatants.