15 die in fighting in eastern Ukraine - Tucson News Now

15 die in fighting in eastern Ukraine

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Three people died in a neighborhood after shelling that lasted for about two hours. (Source: CBS) Three people died in a neighborhood after shelling that lasted for about two hours. (Source: CBS)

DONETSK, UKRAINE (CBS) - At least three people were killed overnight on Tuesday in the Petrovsky neighborhood of Donetsk as the Ukrainian government intensified its shelling campaign in the area.

Associated Press reporters saw two bodies lying on the ground on Wednesday, 11 hours after the rocket fire ended.

The city government reported three deaths.

Residents said the intermittent artillery barrage lasted around two hours.

One high-rise building appeared to have been struck five times.

City authorities said 10 residential buildings and the wing of a hospital were struck.

A Donetsk city council spokesman said the shelling on Tuesday night was some of the heaviest the city has seen.

Government troops have laid siege to Donetsk and nearby rebel holdings in their push to quash the pro-Russian insurgency.

They have largely refrained from street-to-street fighting, favoring often inaccurate rocket fire.

Damage to power generation plants and gas pipelines has left large parts of the city without electricity and gas.

In a separate incident, at least 12 militiamen fighting alongside government troops against the pro-Russian separatist rebels were killed in an ambush, a spokesman for their radical nationalist movement said on Wednesday.

Artem Skoropatsky said the fighters, with the Right Sector volunteer battalion, were shot dead while travelling on a bus outside Donetsk.

Many others in the bus were wounded and taken captive, Skoropatsky said, adding that he could not specify the number.

The Right Sector volunteer battalion does not formally operate within the government armed forces but coordinates its activities with the security services and the Ukraine Defense Ministry.

Right Sector played a marginal if highly visible role in the street uprising that culminated in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

Its far-right affiliations have made it a target of substantial lurid reporting in Russian state media, which has sought to cast the leadership that took over from Yanukovych as an extremist cabal.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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