(QHA) -

Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in clashes between government forces and Kremlin-backed rebels over the past 24 hours in the war-torn east, the Ukrainian military said Monday.

Government positions at strategic flashpoints around the conflict zone came under attack 56 times, the military said.

The mayor's office in the rebel-held industrial hub of Donetsk said that 12 people were hospitalised with shrapnel wounds over the weekend as mortar fire continued to rock the city.

Gas pipelines were also hit by heavy shelling, the city hall said, leaving over 5,000 homes in the beleaguered insurgent bastion without gas in below-minus temperatures.

The casualties are the latest in over seven months of bloody conflict that has left more than 4,300 people dead and displaced almost one million, according to figures from the United Nations.

Some 1,000 people have been killed since the government and rebels inked a nominal truce deal in early September that failed to stop deadly artillery duels at contested hotspots along the frontline.

QHA