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Ukrainian troops besieged in Donetsk airport shelling residential houses

A block of flats in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine came under mortar shelling from Ukrainian troops besieged in the airport on the city outskirts, the press service of Interior Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic told Tass on Thursday.

"We can confirm that a mortar hit a nine-storey block of flats in Universitetskaya Street," the press service said adding that casualties have been reported.

A Tass correspondent said in a dispatch on the spot that on Thursday evening Donetsk came under the most intense shelling over the recent days and explosions were heard even in the city center.

A source familiar with the situation told Tass that Ukrainian military and Donetsk People's Republic militia fighters are still fighting for the airport.

On Wednesday, the press service of the Donetsk city council said nine people were killed as a result of a shellings attack. In particular, three people - the biology teacher and two parents - died when school No. 57 came under fire; five people received fragmentation wounds.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the increased violence in Ukraine in the past few days.

Armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the peace plan

Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have claimed some 3,500 lives, according to the UN, and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine's war-torn east.

Talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Minsk saw the parties to the Ukrainian conflict agree on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners. The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.

On September 20 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

[Source: Itar Tass, Donetsk, 02Oct14]

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