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Ukrainian truce shaken by shelling in eastern Ukraine

Sunday, September 07, 2014 - 00:58

Residents in the city of Mariupol pick up the pieces after shelling breaks the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Shelling overnight broke a fragile two-day peace in eastern Ukraine, with residents turning out to survey the damage on Sunday (September 7). In the city on the Sea of Azov, to the south of Donetsk, government forces came under artillery fire. One hotel on the road from Mariupol to rebel-controlled Novoazovsk, was damaged after artillery that exploded in a tree, crumbling bricks near its roof, shattering windows and ribbing metal from the building's facade. As relatives of the hotel's owner swept up debris and gathered parts of the hotel building strewn across a lot, they lamented the brief stall in the fighting. The ceasefire, brokered by envoys from Ukraine, the separatist leadership, Russia and Europe's OSCE security watchdog on Friday (September 5) in Minsk, is part of a peace plan intended to end a five-month conflict that has killed nearly 3,000 people. The renewed shelling broke out hours after Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko had agreed in a telephone call the truce was holding and had discussed ways of getting in humanitarian aid. Both sides blamed the other for the violations to ceasefire. One witness Reuters spoke to heard prolonged shelling in an area north of Donetsk and saw plumes of black smoke filling the sky on Sunday morning. The shelling came from near the airport, which has been in the hands of Ukrainian government forces, though pro-Russian rebels control the city. Rebels told Reuters the airport itself was now empty and the fighting was centred on a nearby military compound.

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Ukrainian truce shaken by shelling in eastern Ukraine

Sunday, September 07, 2014 - 00:58