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Ukraine conflict: Shell hits bus 'killing 10' in Buhas

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A shell has hit a bus in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 10 civilians and wounding many more, Ukraine's military says.

A statement said the incident happened at a government checkpoint in Buhas, about 35km (22 miles) south-west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Donetsk regional officials blamed pro-Russian rebels but a report said rebel leaders had denied it.

Fighting has intensified recently, despite a truce agreed in September.

One report said the bus had been carrying civilians from the coastal town of Mariupol.

Vyacheslav Abroskin, head of the Donetsk regional interior ministry, said it appeared the target had been a road block set up close to the nearby town of Volnovakha but the attack had gone astray.

"It was a direct hit on an intercity bus," he said.

"An investigation is in progress. The road between Donetsk and Mariupol has been closed," he said.

Initial reports said a shell had hit the bus although a statement by the military later said it could have been a Grad rocket.

The Russian news agency Tass quoted rebel officials as denying they had carried out the attack.



Correspondents say government forces and rebels frequently blame each other for missile and artillery fire that claims civilian lives.

The latest incident comes after peace talks mooted for this week were scrapped.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in December that he planned to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, on 15 January alongside the German and French leaders.

But following talks in Berlin on Monday, foreign ministers for the four countries said that "further work needs to be done" before a summit could be held.



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