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Ban condemns Ukraine rebel offensive

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned a deadly rocket attack in Ukraine`s government-held port of Mariupol on Saturday and denounced "provocative statements" made by pro-Russian separatist fighters.



New York: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned a deadly rocket attack in Ukraine`s government-held port of Mariupol on Saturday and denounced "provocative statements" made by pro-Russian separatist fighters.

Ban`s remarks came after pro-Kremlin rebels announced a major new offensive and heavy rocket fire killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic port linking separatist territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

Ban "strongly condemns today`s rocket attack on the city of Mariupol, which reportedly killed dozens of civilians and left over one hundred injured," a statement from Ban`s spokesman read.

"He notes that rockets appear to have been launched indiscriminately into civilian areas, which would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law."

Ban also condemned Friday`s "unilateral withdrawal from the ceasefire by rebel leadership, and particularly their provocative statements about claiming further territory."

He said the withdrawal constituted a violation of commitments under September`s Minsk accords that ordered the withdrawal of heavy weapons and a truce.

"Ukraine`s peace, territorial integrity and stability, intrinsically linked to that of the broader region, must be urgently restored," the statement added.

Alexandre Zakharchenko, leader of the self-declared Donetsk republic, announced earlier the launch of an offensive on Kiev-controlled Mariupol.

That assault has already caused at least 30 deaths and injured 90 people, according to provisional counts AFP obtained from Mariupol municipal spokesman Oleg Kalinin.

The Ban statement did not say who was responsible for the rocket fire.

From Zee News

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