(QHA) -

The press service of Ukraine's military operation against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine says artillery fired by government forces has killed up to 200 rebels near the Donetsk airport since November 6.

The number is much higher than most previous tolls reported for a single day of fighting in the conflict, which has killed more than 4,000 combatants and civilians since May, and could not be independently confirmed.

The press center of what Kyiv calls the "Antiterrorist Operation" (ATO) said on its Facebook page on November 7 that "militants who were firing at Ukrainian military positions on the grounds of the Donetsk airport yesterday were eliminated by artillery units of the ATO forces."

It said that "verified information" indicates that the artillery fire had "killed up to 200 militants" and destroyed or damaged four tanks and other military equipment.

The government-held Donetsk airport has been a focus of persistent fighting despite a September 5 cease-fire.