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Ukrainian military shelling hits hospital, killing patient

The Ukrainian military fired an artillery barrage to take down the headquarters of a separatist leader but the last shell landed 300 yards short of the original target.
By Aileen Graef   |   Aug. 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

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DONETSK, Ukraine, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian artillery shell targeted at a separatist headquarters in Donetsk hit a hospital Thursday, killing one patient and wounding others.

The Ukrainian military has surrounded the pro-Russian separatist stronghold Donetsk but has not sent in ground troops and have instead resorted to air power. In response, rebels have been shooting down Ukrainian fighter jets as they did Thursday. The pilot ejected and a battle broke out as both sides tried to reach the location of the plane.

A shell coming from the position of government forces directly hit the empty pediatric ward in the dental wing of a hospital. Dental patient Alexander Perikh was seen outside the building groaning in pain. He told the New York Times he unplugged all of his intravenous tubes and ran after the hospital was hit.

"I don't feel well at all," said Perikh.

The shells also took a balcony off a brick building and destroyed the facade of a grocery store. The last shell struck 300 yards short of the original target, a police building being used as a headquarters by separatist commander Igor Strelkov, also known as Igor the Shooter.

Tensions in Kiev have risen after Russian troops began amassing along the eastern border once again, renewing fears of a full invasion. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday to restate NATO's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and the end to "Russian aggression."

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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