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KIEV, February 11. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told a cabinet meeting that 16 people were killed in Tuesday’s shelling of Kramatorsk, a government-held town in eastern Ukraine.
"Sixteen people are killed, mainly civilians, and 66 people are wounded. Eleven people are critically injured, including five children," said Poroshenko, who visited the town overnight ahead of the key summit in Minsk, Belarus.
Earlier reports said 15 people were killed and 63 others were injured in Kramatorsk, some 50 kilometers from the combat area.
Kiev says the shelling was carried out from a territory controlled by the self-defense militias, while the latter deny responsibility and dismiss the incident as "provocation" by the Ukrainian authorities.
"We have stated many times that we do not use artillery against peaceful cities and civilians, and we do not have an air force," the defence ministry spokesman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, Eduard Basurin, told the Donetsk news agency.
The spokesman demanded that prior to accusing the Donetsk militias, a commission comprising representatives of OSCE, Russia, Ukraine, the DPR and other authorized organizations should be set up to carry out an objective on-site investigation and fix all the facts.
The shelling of Kramatorsk comes just as the Russian, French, German and Ukrainian leaders are expected to meet in Minsk later on Wednesday for talks aimed at resolving the Ukrainian crisis, which has killed more than 5,300 people.