Ukraine crisis and anti-terror operation in eastern cities
A masked pro-Russia protester stands guard at a barricade outside a regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Reuters

Despite the Ukrainian forces suspending their "anti-terrorist" operation in eastern Ukraine for the Easter holidays, at least five people have reportedly been killed in a fierce gun battle which erupted in the city of Slavyansk.

The shooting is said to have taken place on the outskirts of the city which is controlled by armed pro-Russian protesters.

"Three residents of Slavyansk were shot dead by unidentified gunmen who attacked a block-post in the north of the town. Another person was wounded and is in hospital in critical condition," a report on says.

Two of the attackers are said to be dead following the incident when the anti-Kiev protesters who were manning the checkpoint returned fire.

There has been no independent confirmation of the incident although local reports suggest there was intense gunfire.