DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - A 12-year-old boy and a 55-year-old woman were killed by shelling in the eastern Ukrainian separatist stronghold of Donetsk on Thursday, the city administration reported, despite a Sept. 5 ceasefire deal.
According to UN data an average of 13 soldiers, rebels, and civilians have died every day since a formal ceasefire was agreed by Ukraine, Russia and the rebels, with Ukrainian government forces and the separatists accusing each other of violating the terms of the truce.
Donetsk city administration, which is aligned with Kiev, said the child was killed in the street and the woman when a shell hit her flat in an area pummeled by artillery fire in recent days.
“A shell hit her directly,” her son Aleksander said, standing outside the building. “I don’t know why I was not hit. I was standing right next to her. Only my neck is slightly burnt.”
A Reuters witness saw a puddle of blood and a crater at the scene where the 12-year-old was struck down in Kuybyshevsky district. Residents said he had been running to a bomb shelter when he was hit.
Many buildings in the district bear witness to the intensity of the recent shelling, including a paediatric hospital, where a shell crashed through the roof and others left craters in the road outside.
More than 4,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine since pro-Russian rebels seized border regions in April. Nearly a million people have fled the area, with a surge in the past two months, the U.N. said on Nov. 20.
Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Andrew Roche