KYIV, UKRAINE (AFP) – A mosque in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where 80 civilians were taking shelter, has been shelled by Russian forces, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said yesterday.
“The mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana (Hurrem Sultan) in Mariupol was shelled by Russian invaders. More than 80 adults and children are hiding there from the shelling, including citizens of Turkey,” the ministry wrote on its Twitter account.
It did not specify when the shelling took place. Mariupol has been under siege and bombardment for more than a week and is encircled by Russian troops. The situation in the strategic port city was “desperate”, where civilians have been desperately trying to flee, but were without water or heating, and running out of food, a top Doctors Without Borders executive said on Friday.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Friday: “Besieged Mariupol is now the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet. 1,582 dead civilians in 12 days.”
Three people, including a child, were killed when a children’s hospital in the city was attacked on Wednesday, sparking international outrage.
A new attempt is being made to open up a corridor to allow civilians to evacuate the city towards Zaporizhzhia. around 200 kilometres away, said Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk.