Casualties reported as shell hits Donetsk hospital

Rebel sources say at least 4 killed in attack that also hit several schools and nurseries

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic gather outside a hospital, which according to locals was damaged by shelling on Wednesday. Photograph: Maxim Sergeev/Reuters

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic gather outside a hospital, which according to locals was damaged by shelling on Wednesday. Photograph: Maxim Sergeev/Reuters

 

A shell hit a hospital in the east Ukrainian rebel-controlled city of Donetsk on Wednesday, killing or injuring several people, the city administration said.

“There was an artillery shell at 12 noon ... The shell hit a hospital, there are dead and wounded,” a statement on the administration’s website said, adding that several schools and children’s nurseries had also suffered in the blast.

It said the number of dead was being established but the Russian news agency RIA quoted rebel sources as saying that four people had been killed.

A Reuters cameraman who visited the scene said two shells had struck, one after the other, and he saw three bodies of victims.

One lay near the hospital building - Hospital No 27 in the city’s southwestern Kirovsky district - while two others lay on the street near neighbouring buildings.

Earlier, the Ukrainian military said two of its soldiers had been killed and 18 wounded in fighting against pro-Russian separatists in the previous 24 hours.

The Ukrainian military said separatist forces had launched around 80 artillery or rocket attacks on Ukrainian positions and villages in the past 24 hours.

The nine-month-old conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 5,000 people. Violence has surged since the latest peace effort collapsed last Saturday in Minsk, Belarus, with no agreement.

Reuters