DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- For another day, fighting in eastern Ukraine has again kept international investigators from reaching the debris of the Malaysia Airlines jet that was shot down.
As the fighting escalates, shelling in at least three cities has hit a home for the elderly, a school and several apartment blocks -- adding to a rapidly-growing civilian death toll.
Separatist rebels in the city of Luhansk say the victims include five people killed when the home for the elderly was hit by artillery fire.
In Donetsk, another rebel stronghold under fire by the Ukrainian forces, at least one person was killed when several shells hit an apartment block.
Until now, the government has refrained from attacks on the center of Donetsk. Direct strikes on the city may mark an escalation in efforts to break the rebels' resolve there.
The use of unguided rockets in fighting between government troops and the pro-Russia separatist rebels has been causing a notable increase in casualties in recent days, and it's drawn criticism from the U.N. and rights groups.