Ukraine-Russia crisis: Calls for end to illegal munitions as three children among 198 dead
Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said that 198 people have been killed and more than 1,000 others have been wounded in the conflict. It was unclear whether the casualties included both military and civilians.
"Unfortunately, according to operative data, at the hands of the invaders we have 198 dead, including 3 children, 1,115 wounded, including 33 children," Mr Lyashko wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, charity Human Rights Watch said verified reports showed the munitions were used in an attack on the Central City Hospital in the eastern Ukrainian town of Vuhledar, which killed four civilians and injured another ten on Thursday.
An international treaty banning cluster munitions has been adopted because of their widespread indiscriminate effect and long-lasting danger to civilians.
Human Rights Watch verified photographs posted to social media or sent directly by hospital staff that show damage from the attack, including two dead bodies, and the remnants of the weapon that was apparently used – a 9M79-series Tochka ballistic missile with a 9N123 cluster munition warhead.
Cluster munitions typically explode in the air and send dozens, even hundreds, of small bomblets over an area the size of a football field.
It also spoke to a doctor and an official from the hospital, which sits in the government-controlled Donetska region, who gave the names of those who were wounded or killed, and shared photographs of two of the dead.
The two men and two women killed in the attack were named as Maksim Sidorenko, 34; Antonina Sidorenko, 65; Sergei Sivukhin, 56; and Olga Shramko, 50.
“This callous attack has killed and injured civilians, and damaged a hospital,” said Steve Goose, arms director of Human Rights Watch. “Russian forces should stop using cluster munitions and end unlawful attacks with weapons that indiscriminately kill and maim.”
The hospital’s chief doctor, Natalia Sosyura, described the attack: She said: “I was on the first floor of our two-story building. I heard a loud explosion outside, we ran into the hallway. Luckily, we didn't have many patients. We all fell to the floor.”
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