Donetsk: Deadly blast hits market in Russia-held Ukraine city, officials say

People remove debris at a food market following, what local Russian-installed authorities say, was a Ukrainian military strike in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine
Image caption,Russian-installed officials in Donetsk blamed Ukraine for the strike, although Kyiv has not commented

By Oliver Slow

BBC News

At least 25 people were killed in a shelling attack in the Russian-held city of Donetsk, the Moscow-installed leader of the region said.

Denis Pushilin said a Ukrainian strike, which also injured 20 people, hit a busy market.

He said emergency services were working at the scene, and that information on the number of dead and wounded was still being collected.

There has so far been no comment from Ukraine on the incident.

BBC News was not able to immediately verify the circumstances around the strike.

Photographs published by Reuters news agency appeared to show destroyed shop fronts, as well as bodies lying in the street.

Russia’s foreign ministry denounced the strike as a “barbaric terrorist attack” against civilians.

Mr Pushilin said the “horrendous” strike took place when the market was at its busiest.

According to AFP, a local resident named Tatiana told local media she heard an incoming projectile overhead, and hid under her market stall.

“I saw smoke, people screamed, a woman was crying,” she was quoted as saying.

Donetsk city and parts of the wider region in eastern Ukraine were first seized by Russian-backed forces in 2014, and the area has been partially controlled by Moscow ever since.

The city is around 20km (12 miles) from the frontline. Areas near Donetsk city – including Mariinka and Avdiivka – have seen some of the fiercest fighting of late.

A map showing areas of Russian control in eastern Ukraine

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