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Intense fighting in eastern Ukraine “extremely alarming”, says UN

28.07.2014 13:32

A total breakdown of law and order and a reign of fear and terror have been inflicted by armed groups on the population of eastern Ukraine, according to a new report issued today by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"The reports of increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are extremely alarming, with both sides employing heavy weaponry in built-up areas, including artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

Casualty figures are hard to gauge reliably, the report says. However, based on the best data available, conservative estimates by the Human Rights Mission and the World Health Organisation puts the number of those who have been killed from mid-April to 15 July as 1,000 people. As of 26 July, at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded.

"Both sides must take great care to prevent more civilians from being killed or injured," Pillay added. "Already increasing numbers of people are being killed with serious damage to civilian infrastructure, which – depending on circumstances – could amount to violations of international humanitarian law. The fighting must stop," stressed the High Comissioner.