• Reuters

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Rebels in southeastern Ukraine early on Friday released four of the eight international observers they captured over a month ago, in an apparent goodwill gesture that could help pave the way to a resolution of the conflict that has so far claimed hundreds of lives.

Pro-Russia separatists held eight observers from the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a security and rights body tasked with monitoring an agreement drafted in Switzerland in April to de-escalate the crisis.

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