Attack on Ukraine's Mariupol targeted civilians: UN

26th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

A rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol that killed 30 people at the weekend targeted civilians and the perpetrators must be brought to justice, a senior UN official said Monday.

UN Under Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman told an emergency Security Council meeting that a crater analysis by European monitors showed the rockets were fired from territory controlled by pro-Moscow rebels.

"Mariupol lies outside of the immediate conflict zone. The conclusion can thus be drawn that the entity which fired these rockets knowingly targeted a civilian population," said Feltman.

Targeting civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law, he added.

"We must all send an unequivocal message: The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to justice," he said.

Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko initially claimed Saturday to have launched an offensive aimed at taking Mariupol, but as the extent of the bloodshed became apparent he denied ordering an assault on the industrial port on the Sea of Azov.

Mariupol is seen as strategically important as a link between separatist-occupied territory in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which was annexed by Russia last year.


© 2015 AFP

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