The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) to Ukraine is looking into the circumstances of a reported artillery attack on the city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region.
"Patrols of monitors have been sent to the shelling area in Mariupol to collect information. We will later issue an interim report on the situation," SMM spokesperson Iryna Hudyma told Interfax on Saturday.
The Mariupol city department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry had reported earlier that at least 10 civilians had been killed as Mariupol had been shelled on Saturday morning. It said projectiles burst near shops and markets, where there were a lot of people at the moment.
The Ukrainian authorities have laid the blame for the attack on armed units opposing the Ukrainian government forces. The Donetsk regional prosecutor's office qualified the shelling of residential neighborhoods in Mariupol as a terrorist attack.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic (DPR) defense ministry earlier dismissed the reports blaming the militia for shelling residential neighborhoods in Mariupol. "This is blatant misinformation and lies. The militia forces have not opened fire upon Mariupol at all, not to mention at its residential neighborhoods," the DPR defense ministry told the Donetsk news agency.
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