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KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Intense fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine killed at least 19 civilians, local officials said on Tuesday, as Kiev pressed an offensive to close in on the separatists. Ukrainian forces have been pushing rebel units back towards their two main urban strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk and have sought to encircle them in several places, including in the wider area where a Malaysian airliner crashed on July 17. In the city of Luhansk, officials said five civilians were killed when shelling hit a retirement home. "The enemy is throwing everything it has into the battle to complete encirclement of the DNR," rebel commander Igor Strelkov told journalists in Donetsk on Monday evening, referring to the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic".
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel struck symbols of Hamas' control of Gaza and the strip's only power plant on Tuesday, escalating its military campaign against the Islamic militant group with the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far.