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Ukrainian forces withdraw 12 mortars from engagement line in Donbas over 24 hours

October 16, 2015, 11:57 UTC+3 KIEV

Efforts are continuing to pull out armaments as stipulated by the Minsk accords

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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

KIEV, October 16. /TASS/. The Ukrainian army has withdrawn 12 mortars with a caliber of under 100 mm from the engagement line in the Donbas region in east Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the press center of Kiev’s military operation reported on Friday.

"Efforts are continuing to pull out armaments as stipulated by the Minsk accords. Yesterday, 12 mortars with a caliber of less than 100 mm were moved from the frontline to a distance of over 15 km in the rear. The pullout will continue today," the press office said in a statement.

The "silence regime" is observed in the engagement area. The Ukrainian troops are reporting about mine clearing in the area, the press office said.

Ukrainian General Staff spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told TASS earlier the Kiev forces had started on October 5 to pull out tanks as the first stage of the weaponry withdrawal from the disengagement line and planned to complete the process within two days.

The spokesman also said "the pullout of artillery systems will begin after the tanks withdrawal."

Under the Minsk accords, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic started the pullout of tanks from the engagement line on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic said it would begin pulling out armaments after October 18, given the truce observance.

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