Combat raging inside Ukraine flashpoint town of Debaltseve

Members of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in the town of Vuhlehirsk, about 10 km (6 miles) to the west of Debaltseve, on Feb 16, 2015. Ukraine troops and pro-Russian
Members of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in the town of Vuhlehirsk, about 10 km (6 miles) to the west of Debaltseve, on Feb 16, 2015. Ukraine troops and pro-Russian rebels are engaged in combat inside the flashpoint town of Debaltseve, both sides said on Tuesday, in a significant blow to a fragile, three-day-old ceasefire in Ukraine's east. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine troops and pro-Russian rebels are engaged in combat inside the flashpoint town of Debaltseve, both sides said on Tuesday, in a significant blow to a fragile, three-day-old ceasefire in Ukraine's east.

It was the first time fighting has erupted on the streets of the town, which up to now had been the scene of artillery exchanges between thousands of government troops holed up inside and heavily armed rebels encircling it.