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MOSCOW: Ukraine fired artillery rounds at the Russian-held city of Donetsk on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding three others, Kremlin-backed officials said.

Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine occupied by Russia and its proxy forces since 2014, has repeatedly been targeted by what Moscow has called indiscriminate Ukrainian shelling.

Video distributed by Russian state media showed bodies lying on a street littered with debris and broken pieces of metal, while another showed a small crater on the ground.

“Three people were killed as a result of enemy shelling of the Kalininskyi district of Donetsk,” said Denis Pushilin, head of the region’s Russian-backed administration.

Russia says six killed in shelling of Donetsk city, Zaporizhzhia region

Three other civilians had “sustained moderate injuries”, he said, adding that Ukrainian forces fired the rounds from a Grad multiple rocket launcher system.

AFP was not able to immediately verify the circumstances of the strike and Ukraine officials did not immediately comment.

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of a sharp escalation in attacks on civilian areas over the past two months.

On January 21, Russian-backed officials accused Ukraine of striking a suburb of Donetsk, killing 27 people, many of whom were shopping at a busy market.

Ukrainian shelling and drone attacks in Russia’s Belgorod region bordering Ukraine on Monday wounded at least one person and damaged several homes, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Ukraine said Russia fired shells at its military and civilian areas across the country on Monday, launching rocket attacks at least 86 times over the past day.

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