This content is not available in your region

Deadly rocket attack on hospital in rebel-held Donetsk in Ukraine

Access to the comments Comments
By Seamus Kearney
Deadly rocket attack on hospital in rebel-held Donetsk in Ukraine

At least five people are reported dead after the shelling of a hospital in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Eyewitnesses say at least one shell hit the building in territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

But other reports say two shells landed near the hospital.

At least one huge crater was seen in front of the building, known as Hospital Number 27, in a suburb in the south of the city.

Bodies could be seen lying on the ground outside, covered with blankets.

The separatists at one stage said the death toll was as high as 25.

“It was not one shell,” said a local man. “They both fell together. It was a barrage because the first and second exploded at the same time.”

Numerous people are reported to have been wounded.

The death toll is rising fast in renewed fighting between government troops and rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Rebels are attempting to gain control of the town of Debaltseve near Donetsk, exchanging fire with government forces.

Nearby towns are also caught up in the crossfire.

The separatists have been attempting to evacuate residents from the towns under its control.

Ukrainian soldiers have also been moving hundreds of people out of Debaltseve, which is between the separatist controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The latest diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire collapsed in Belarus over the weekend.