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Ukrainian insurgent leader announces launch of attack on Mariupol -- RIA

Ukrainian insurgent leader Alexander Zakharchenko on Saturday announced the launch of an offensive on the government-controlled port city of Mariupol.

"We have started an offensive on Mariupol, and in a few days we will close the Debaltseve circle and avenge those killed in Donetsk and Horlivka," he was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying at a memorial ceremony in the insurgent-held city of Donetsk.

Meanwhile, Stepan Poltorak, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, said the Ukrainian military were reinforcing troops near Mariupol.

Earlier in the day, Mariupol came under shelling of rocket fire, which hit an open-air market and nearby homes and shops and caused heavy casualties. TV footage showed buildings and cars in flames.

Up to now, 27 people, among them two children, have been killed and 97, including five children, have been injured in the shelling, according to the city council secretary Andriy Fedai.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on the United Nations Security Council to immediately call a session over the shelling.

[Source: Xinhua, Kiev, 24Jan15]

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Ukraine Unrest
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