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UN hopes those responsible for shelling of Donetsk school will be brought to trial

November 07, 2014, 21:09 UTC+3
The shelling of a school in Donetsk on November 5 was carried out from north-western direction, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said
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© Alexey Slavny/TASS

THE UNITED NATIONS, November 7. /TASS/. The UN Secretariat hopes that those responsible for the shelling of a school in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on November 5 will be brought to trial, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Friday. Such actions cannot be justified, he told TASS.

The shelling of a school in Donetsk on November 5 was carried out from north-western direction, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Friday.

“In the SMM’s [Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine] assessment," shells "were fired from a location north-west of the football pitch and were the result of high-angle fire,” the OSCE said.

“On 6 November 2014, at 8:25 hrs, the SMM arrived at School No. 63 on Stepanenko Street, Donetsk, about three kilometres north-west of the city centre. The SMM saw a football pitch on the east side of the school, enclosed by steel mesh fencing; shrapnel damage to the pitch, fencing and goal posts; and, on the northern edge of the pitch, one metre from the fence, a shell crater, which was one metre in diameter,” the report said.

“The SMM saw human remains scattered around the pitch, including bone fragments, blood and internal organs. Blood-stained clothing was also visible, which appeared to have been torn by shrapnel,” it said.

The monitors also discovered about 10 craters from shells nearby.

“All craters seen by the SMM were about one metre in diameter and the depths varied. The SMM’s analysis indicates that at least four of the craters were caused by 120mm mortar shells and two others were the result of 122mm artillery rounds,” the report said.

“The SMM also noted a crater in the playground, near the eastern wall. The SMM spoke to a number of people present in the area who said that on the previous day two children had been killed by an artillery shell; and four children and an adult had been seriously wounded,” it said.

“People living nearby told the SMM that there were a number of other casualties in the area. The SMM saw one woman who was leaving Stepanenko Street 14a with shrapnel wounds to her legs, who said she was being taken to hospital. The SMM observed that there was extensive damage to the apartment building and its windows,” the report said.

“Residents indicated that a number of local people had also been injured but they were unwilling to give names so it was not possible to identify or locate any casualties,” it said, adding that there were also other casualties.

The United States has also condemned the shelling of a school that led to the death of children in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk, US State Department speaker Jen Psaki said at a briefing.

The teenagers were killed while playing on a school sports field in Donetsk. Three other locals, reportedly aged between 17 and 21, sustained various injuries and were hospitalized.

Russia’s Investigation Committee opened a criminal case to look into the deadly school shelling. According to investigators, on Wednesday afternoon servicemen of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and National Guard launched artillery shelling upon instructions of their commanders directly targeting school number 63 in Donetsk.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

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