MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Reuters witnesses heard renewed artillery shelling to the east of the port of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine on Friday, hours before Ukrainian, Russian and European envoys are expected to back a peace plan and a ceasefire.
"Our artillery has come and is being deployed against the (pro-Russian) rebels," the mayor of Mariupol, Yuri Khotlubey, told Ukraine's 112 TV channel.
A commander of a Ukrainian volunteer militia based in Mariupol told Reuters: "We were under fire all night but we are still keeping the rebels at bay. They are facing us with tanks and artillery." (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic in Mariupol and Pavel Polityuk in Kiev, writing by Gareth Jones)