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A Russian shell smashed into a two-storey building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk on Monday, killing six civilians who were sheltering there, the State Emergency Service said.

It said on Facebook that rescuers found five bodies in the rubble and pulled three people out alive, but one later died in hospital.

"The town of Toretsk was under fire today from early in this morning. A two-storey building sheltering people was destroyed as a shell slammed into it," the State Emergency Service said.

It posted photographs on its Facebook page of rescue workers digging through rubble and what was left of the devastated building, and said the search for survivors had been abandoned.

Reuters could not immediately check details of the report independently. Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, denies deliberately targeting civilians but cities have been flattened and millions have fled the fighting.

Source: Reuters

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