Hospital hit as Ukraine shells rebel stronghold

Sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Hospital hit as Ukraine shells rebel stronghold

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk, killing one and wounding five others, said Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky. “There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr Anna Kravtsova said.

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighbourhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city centre. The mayor’s office said three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who met with leading officials in Ukraine said that the military alliance stood ready to support Ukraine with advisers and assistance.

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