Oil edges lower after report of attack on Russia-backed rebels

In this Dec. 5, 2012 photo, the sun sets behind an oil pump jack and the Rocky Mountains near Fredrick, Colo. (CPR)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices edged lower on Thursday after Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine accused Kyiv government forces of shelling their territory with mortars.

Brent crude futures fell $1.57 to $93.24 a barrel at 0617 GMT, after also dropping earlier by over %2.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.6 at $92.06 per barrel, after earlier falling more than 2%.

Russia state news agency RIA cited Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine as saying that Kyiv government forces on Thursday used mortars to attack their territory, in violation of agreements aimed at ending the conflict, according to Reuters.

An escalation in the years-long conflict with Donbas separatists could fuel tension between Russia and the West.

Moscow has amassed more than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine’s border and the West has threatened Russia with new sanctions if it attacks.

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