World News | Ukraine: 15 dead in rocket attack on building

Kyiv, July 10 (AP) At least 15 people were killed when a Russian rocket hit a building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar, and more than 20 people may still be trapped in the rubble, officials said Sunday.

Saturday night’s rocket attack is the latest in a recent string of mass casualty attacks against civilian structures.

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At least 19 people died when a Russian missile hit a shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk in late June and 21 people were killed when an apartment building and recreation area came under rocket fire in the southern region of Odessa this month.

Russia has repeatedly asserted that it only hits targets of military value in the war. There was no comment on Chasiv Yar during a Russian Defense Ministry briefing on Sunday.

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Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region which includes Chasiv Yar, said the town of around 12,000 was hit by Uragan rockets, which are fired from truck-borne systems.

Ukrainian emergency services later said the death toll had risen to 15 and about two dozen people were under the wreckage. Rescuers made voice contact with at least three people trapped in the rubble, he added.

Chasiv Yar lies about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Kramatorsk, a town expected to be a major target for Russian forces as they advance west.

The Donetsk region is one of two provinces along with Luhansk that make up the Donbass region, where separatist rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014. Last week Russia captured the city of Lysychansk, the last major stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk.

Russian forces are raising “real hell” in Donbass, despite assessments that they were taking an operational pause, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said on Saturday.

After the capture of Lysychansk, some analysts predicted that Moscow’s troops would likely take some time to rearm and regroup.

But “until now, there has been no operational pause announced by the enemy. It is still attacking and bombarding our lands with the same intensity as before,” Haidai said. He later said that the Russian bombardment of Luhansk had been suspended because Ukrainian forces had destroyed ammunition depots and barracks used by the Russians. (AP)

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