A total of 2,593 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine since mid-April, a senior UN human rights official said on Friday.

"The trend is clear and alarming. There is a significant increase in the death toll in the east," Ivan Simonovic, UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, told journalists.

"The current number of killed is 2,593 - close to 3,000 if we include the 298 victims of the MH17 (Malaysian airliner) plane crash," he said.

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