UN: Ukraine death toll doubles in two weeks

Geneva - The number of people killed in conflict-hit in eastern Ukraine has nearly doubled in two weeks to 2 086, including at least 20 children, the UN human rights agency said on Wednesday.

The toll, as of 10 August, compared with 1 129 deaths counted on 26 July and should be considered "very conservative", the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

On 18 June, the UN had said 356 people had died in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The death toll includes Ukrainian armed forces, civilians and armed groups, spokesperson Cecile Pouilly said in an email, stressing that especially "civilian casualties are likely to be under-reported".

This, she said, was due to disrupted communication channels and the high level of insecurity that is preventing people from getting access to medical aid and being counted.

"There has been a clear escalating trend recently," Pouilly said in an email.

She said more than 60 people had been killed each day on average since mid-April, but that between 30 July and 5 August, the average jumped to at least 70.

The number of injuries have also skyrocketed to nearly 5 000, including at least 30 children, up from the nearly 3 500 injured tallied on 26 July.