Covert team caught after shelling kills at least 9 in eastern Ukraine

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A covert group has been arrested. They may have been behind the shelling during rush hour on Thursday morning in Donetsk. At least nine people were killed and up to twenty were injured, local authorities report.

The defense minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Vladimir Kononov told Gazeta.Ru newspaper: “A covert group was operating, who have been arrested. No more comments,” he said, commenting on the tram stop shelling.

Residents of Donetsk’s Leninsky district heard shelling at about 08:30 local time. Windows in the buildings near the stop were blown out. Locals say they believed their district to be “a quiet place” and were shocked by the “tragedy that happened when people were heading to work.”

A trolleybus was also hit in the shelling, and eye-witnesses said there were victims inside, as well as bodies lying at the stop, local media report. Conflicting reports, citing medical sources, indicate there may have been 13 deaths.

The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic say the shelling was carried with mortars, RIA-Novosti reported.

“Our officers were at the scene, according to the preliminary information, the shelling was conducted with mortars from one of the nearby districts. It appears that two bombs fell on the stop,” said a spokesperson for the DPR Security Ministry. “The self-defense forces shortly thereafter arrested a covert group of Ukrainian security forces not far from the scene, at the moment it is being verified whether they were involved in the shelling.”

The deputy speaker of the DPR parliament, Denis Pushilin, told RIA-Novosti that the investigation is ongoing and that “the shelling was supposedly conducted from a minibus or a dustbin lorry.”

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