Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Sporadic shelling and shooting, which each side has blamed on the other, had ensured a steadily mounting death toll despite the ceasefire called as part of a peace plan worked out in Minsk, Belarus, in February. More than 6,500 people have been killed since a separatist rebellion erupted there in April 2014.
Satellite images show the main temple in Syria's Palmyra has been flattened, confirming the worst fears for the ancient ruins held by the Islamic State group. The destruction of the Temple of Bel sparked outrage and international headlines, precisely the reaction the jihadist group may have been seeking, experts said. Dozens of relics remain at risk in the ruins of Palmyra, which IS jihadists seized from regime forces in May as they pursued their campaign for territory in Syria and Iraq.