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4 Feb, 2024 09:49

Death toll rises to 28 from Ukrainian strike on bakery

Sunday has been declared a day of mourning in Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic
Death toll rises to 28 from Ukrainian strike on bakery

The death toll from a Ukrainian missile strike on the city of Lisichansk in Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has risen to 28, the region’s acting head and the emergencies services have said.

The attack on a bakery occurred during a busy period on Saturday, partially destroying the building. Sources in Russia’s Investigative Committee told the media that the bombardment was likely carried out with the use of a US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launch system, supplied to Kiev by the West.

“As a result of a strike on a bakery by the Ukrainian nationalists, 28 civilians were killed, including one child,” the acting head of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik, wrote on Telegram on Sunday.

Ten people have been rescued from the rubble, with “medics currently fighting for their lives,” he added.

Sunday has been declared a day of mourning in the LPR for the victims of the “barbaric” Ukrainian strike on Lisichansk, Pasechnik said.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry has provided similar figures of those killed and wounded. Rescuers have been working on site all night, dismantling 65% of the damaged building, it said, adding the search and rescue operation continues.

The local military police office earlier said that some 40 people may have been trapped under the rubble as a result of the strike.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said shortly after the bombing that the Ukrainian forces targeted the bakery deliberately as they were “well aware that on Saturdays local residents traditionally come there for pastry and groceries, including elderly people and families with children.” The bombardment is another “act of terrorism” by Ukraine and proof of “the criminal essence” of the government in Kiev, she wrote on Telegram.

Lisichansk, home to around 93,000 people as of September 2022, was liberated by the Russian military in early July 2022. The city, located near the frontline, has been a frequent target of Ukrainian shells and missiles since then, but the strike on Saturday appears to be one of the deadliest.