7 killed in market attack in Avdiivka

At least seven people were reported killed in an attack on a market in the eastern town of Avdiivka.

Donetsk regional military head, PavloKyrylenko, said the strike in the Ukrainian-controlled town took place at a busy time, adding that at least eight others were injured.

He advised all residents of the region, which is partly Russian-occupied, to evacuate.

Russia says it has detained eight people in connection with Saturday’s explosion on a key bridge linking Russia to Crimea.

Its FSB security service said five of those held were Russians, while the others were Ukrainian and Armenian.

It says Kyiv was behind the attack but a Ukrainian official described Russia’s investigation as “nonsense”.

Elsewhere, three people, including a six-year-old girl, were seriously injured by shelling in Nikopol, in Dnipropetrovsk region, a Ukrainian presidential spokesman said.

Ukraine’s emergency ministry reported several S-300 missiles had fallen in and around Zaporizhzhia, with one destroying a residential building in a suburb. It said a family was pulled from the wreckage.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s Hugo Bachega in Kyiv said five explosions had been heard in Kherson, one of the largest cities under Russian occupation, while there were unconfirmed reports that the air defence system in the southern city had been activated.

He said it was not clear what had triggered the explosions.

Ukraine’s military said its troops were continuing their advance in the region, capturing another five settlements.

The blast on the Crimean Bridge was a powerful symbolic blow to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who opened the bridge in 2018, four years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

President Vladimir Putin called it an “act of terrorism” aimed at destroying a critically important piece of Russia’s civil infrastructure.

FSB officials said the blast was organised by “the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, its head, Kyrylo Budanov, its staff and agents”.

They alleged the explosives had been hidden in rolls of plastic film and taken on a roundabout route from the Ukrainian port of Odesa – first by sea to Bulgaria, then Georgia, and then driven by lorry overland into Russia via Armenia. -BBC

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