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Over 40 mortar shells ‘fired to kill’ into Russia from Ukraine

Published time: July 25, 2014 17:31
Edited time: July 25, 2014 19:02

FILE photo. Law enforcement officers near a house in the town of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don Region, whose territory was hit with one of high-explosive shells fired at the town from the Ukrainian territory on July 13, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Pivovarov)

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At least 45 mortar shells fired at targets located inside the Rostov-on-Don region have been unleashed by Ukraine’s army, Russia’s border officials said. The barrage destroyed multiple houses and forced an evacuation of civilians.

Investigators say they were examining the site of a previous shelling near the Primiusskiy hamlet right on the southwestern edge of Russia on Wednesday, when a cannonade went off from the other side of the border.

“There is no doubt that those shooting from the Ukrainian side picked their target, and tried to kill Russian security officials,” said Investigative Committee representative Vladimir Markin.

“It is only the poor training of Ukrainian gunners, and the timely evacuation of Russian officials under the cover of armored vehicles that thwarted their plan.”

Six houses in the village were damaged, and one woman received a concussion as a result of a nearby explosion.

“The barrage is continuing from the other side of the border, and its intensity has not decreased,” said Vasily Malaev, the regional border service spokesman.

Shells from artillery fights in Ukraine have frequently landed on Russian territory since the beginning of summer. Primiusskiy was previously shelled just two days ago.

Earlier this week, a temporary refugee camp for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict was relocated further from the border, after several mortars landed nearby.

Additionally, one man was killed and two others received serious injuries when a Ukrainian shell hit a house in the region earlier this month.

At the time, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the incident as “an act of aggression” and threatened “irreversible consequences” if attacks were not discontinued.

Ukrainian officials have denied responsibility, and say that it is Russia that has been using its artillery to support anti-Kiev militants in the Donetsk region across the border.