Gunshots, Explosions as Fighting Resumes Near Ukraine’s Slavyansk
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A checkpoint of the self-defense forces in Slavyansk came under heavy gun and mortar fire, with explosions heard from the city. The attack came hours before the start of a regional referendum.
Loud explosions and gunfire could be heard as mortar shelling of the checkpoint near Slavyansk resumed on Saturday night.
Self-defence forces expect that after artillery preparation, Kiev’s military and paramilitary units deployed nearby could storm the city, Itar-Tass reported.
Earlier on Saturday, according to the city’s self-defense, a checkpoint near Andreevka village, which is close to Slavyansk, came under attack. This is close to an area where voting in the autonomy referendum started Sunday.
"They used mortars to shoot at us and fired mine shells," an anti-government activist told RIA Novosti. This is not the first time Andreevka comes under fire.
According to the Itar-Tass correspondent reporting from the scene, there was about 10 minutes of unceasing heavy fire coming from the local TV tower, which had earlier been occupied by Kiev forces.
Citing reports coming from locals, RT’s Paula Slier tweeted from Slavyansk the Ukrainian troops are allegedly deploying “Grad” missile systems on the outskirts of the city.
Self-defense forces have confirmed to RT that an assault took place.
“Yes, there is gunfire on the outskirts of the city, apparently heavy weapons. There are casualties on our side,” Slavyansk self-defense spokeswoman, Stella Khorosheva, told RT.
Meanwhile, reporters on the ground say at least 8 people got injured.
Witnesses in the city downtown report they heard two blasts, but at the moment the scene is calm with them.