Ukrainian rebels free 1, 200 prisoners

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Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have released 1,200 prisoners, President Petro Poroshenko has said.

The releases followed Friday’s ceasefire deal, he said, which included an exchange of prisoners.

He was speaking during a visit to the strategic south-eastern port city of Mariupol, which has come under shelling from pro-Russian rebels in recent days.

Mr Poroshenko announced his arrival in a tweet: “Mariupol is Ukraine. We will not surrender this land to anyone.”

Before the truce came into place, pro-Russian separatists made big gains in eastern Ukraine and seized territory a few miles outside Mariupol.

However, despite some sporadic shooting, the ceasefire appears to be holding.

Fighting in the east has killed some 2,600 people since April.

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