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Shelling of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia kills two, causes fires – official

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Shelling by Russian forces killed at least two people overnight in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, and damaged or destroyed several residential buildings and caused widespread fires, regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said early on Thursday.

One woman died in the shelling, another one on the way to the hospital as a result of seven Russian strikes, Starukh wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

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“At least five people are under the rubble of buildings,” he said. “Many people were saved. Among them is a three-year-old girl, the child is being taken care of. A rescue operation continues.”

Zaporizhzhia is one of the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia, which Kyiv says it will never accept the illegal seizure of its territory by force and which has been condemned by Ukraine’s allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian state to seize control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Europe’s biggest, still run by Ukrainian engineers despite being captured early in the war by Russian forces.

The power station is right on the front line, on a Russian-controlled bank of a reservoir with Ukrainian forces on the opposite bank, and both sides have warned of the danger of a nuclear disaster. (Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore)