Conflicts & War

Kyiv: Mariupol steel plant attacked 35 times within 24 hours

Kyiv, Apr 26 (EFE).- The Ukrainian-held Azovstal steel factory in the war-battered city of Mariupol was attacked 35 times by Russian forces in the past 24 hours, state-run news agency Ukrinform said on Tuesday.

This comes after Russia on Monday announced a ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians from the steel plant in the southeastern Ukrainian city.

The attacks have caused a fire inside the plant, Ukrinform cited the Azov Battalion, a far-right group that is part of the Ukrainian army, as saying in a Telegram message.

The Ukrainian authorities claim that some 500 soldiers from Azov Batallion are trapped inside the steel factory along with 1,000 civilians.

The battalion takes photos and videos to show the difficult conditions endured by the civilian refugees there, some of whom have been injured in recent bombings.

In one of the videos, an old woman appeared to have a head injury, while photos showed damaged facilities.

“The Azovstal plant, where the defenders of Mariupol are located and civilians are hiding in the basements from shelling, is under fire from the enemy,” the battalion said.

Several civilians were injured amid the attacks, it added, giving no further details on the number.

“Soldiers from the Azov Regiment are providing first aid and doing their best to pull civilians out of the rubble,” it explained.

Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian troops since the early days of the February 24 Russian invasion.

The port city on the coast of the Sea of Azov, which had a pre-war population of half a million people, has been devastated by the Russian attacks.

Ukrainian authorities said that some 120,000 inhabitants remain stuck in the city without power, water or supplies, adding that Moscow is preventing aid from reaching the city.EFE


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