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By Richard Balmforth and Thomas Grove KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Heavy shelling hit residential neighborhoods in Ukraine's rebel stronghold of Donetsk and government forces fought street battles in other towns on Wednesday as they sought to crush a four-month-old separatist rebellion. The forces of the Western-backed Kiev government are steadily gaining the upper hand over the separatists in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and are tightening the noose around the main rebel bastions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
American journalist James Foley was a beloved companion to colleagues in dangerous corners of the Middle East and battled to tell the human stories of civilians caught up in chaos. The 40-year-old freelance reporter was kidnapped in northern Syria in November 2012 and held for almost two years before he was executed by jihadist militants, but he had already touched many lives. Reporter Daphne Benoit of Agence France-Presse worked alongside Foley in the rebel Libyan city of Misrata in October 2011, covering the bloody final days of Moamer Kadhafi's collapsing but still vicious regime.