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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

‘No survivors’ in Ukraine attack

Ukraine convoy attack near Luhansk leaves ‘no survivors’Both sides in the conflict use Russian-made Grad rockets
  • Fears in Sloviansk
No-one survived an attack on a convoy of refugees in the Luhansk area of eastern Ukraine on Monday, a rebel source has told the.

Details of the attack are still unclear but a Ukrainian military spokesman has said 15 bodies have so far been recovered from the scene.
Ukraine has accused pro-Russian rebels of attacking the convoy but they have denied involvement.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting is reported in the centre of Luhansk itself.
The government in Kiev said on Tuesday that street battles were taking place and an interior ministry aide told the Interfax Ukraine agency that the military was recapturing the city “block by block”.
The city centre was reported to have been shelled on Monday night.
Tens of thousands of civilians have fled Luhansk, one of two major cities held by pro-Russian rebels, as Ukrainian government forces advance.
Clashes have also prevented the recovery of bodies from the scene of Monday’s attack, on a road between Novosvitlivka and Khryashchuvatye.
More than 300,000 people have fled the fighting in eastern UkraineA Luhansk rebel source told the BBC that everyone in the refugee convoy had died.
A Ukrainian military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said that by 19:00 (16:00 GMT) on Monday, 15 bodies had been retrieved.
He had earlier said dozens of civilians had been killed, including women and children, when mortar rounds and Grad rockets had been fired at the convoy of buses and cars.
“The convoy had white flags and was marked as civilian,” Mr Lysenko said.
Although Ukrainian authorities in Kiev blamed the rebels for firing Grad rockets and mortar rounds at the convoy, Donetsk rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko was adamant that “not a single convoy of refugees was shot at in the Luhansk region.”
Both sides have Russian-made Grad rockets, so verification of who carried out the attack will be complex.
The separatists have lost control of several small towns in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in recent days.
Civilians remaining in the city of Luhansk are suffering chronic shortages of water, food and electricity.
More than 2,000 civilians and combatants have been killed since mid-April, when Ukraine’s government sent troops to put down the rebel uprising in the east.
Separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk declared independence from Kiev and proclaimed their own people’s republics after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March.
Eastern Ukraine – the increasing human cost
  • At least 2,119 have died since mid-April, including at least 20 children
  • 5,043 people have been wounded in east Ukraine as of 13 August
  • On average 60 casualties per day
  • 155,800 people internally displaced
  • 188,000 have fled to Russia
  • 22,000 people have fled Donetsk and Luhansk in a five-day period last week
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