Donetsk: At least 12 civilians were killed and dozens injured this weekend by artillery fire in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials and pro-Russian separatists said Monday.
Seven of the deaths occurred Sunday in the towns of Avdeevka and Debaltseve controlled by government forces, said the head of the Ukraine interior department in the Donetsk region, Vyacheslav Abroskin.
"As a result of the bombings perpetrated by terrorists (separatists) in Avdeevka and Debaltseve, seven civilians were killed," Abroskin wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Donetsk municipal officials reported that five civilians were killed and more than 50 injured by artillery fire over the weekend in the city, the main headquarters of the pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, blasts were heard in different parts of the city which was rocked Sunday night by a huge explosion in the DKZJI chemical plant, located in a suburb east of the city.
According to preliminary data from city officials, the explosion occurred at an ammunition depot located at the chemical plant under the control of the rebels.
No one was killed in the blast, said separatist spokesperson Eduard Basurin who attributed the explosion to the impact of an artillery shell or a Ukrainian missile.
According to UN figures, more than 5,300 combatants and civilians have died in nearly 10 months of armed conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine.