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OSCE monitors come under fire at MH17 crash site

Vienna: Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) came under artillery fire at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine Sep 14, a report released by the organisation Monday said.

It said "the patrol vehicles were damaged by artillery or mortar fire...the team left the area in the remaining useable vehicle and returned to Donetsk city".

"The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) also carried out an on-site assessment in the the MH17 crash site, upon request of the Dutch, Australian and Malaysian authorities," the report said.

"The patrol vehicles were damaged by artillery or mortar fire at 18.37. The team left the area in the remaining useable vehicle and returned to Donetsk city at 00.32 hrs today(Monday," it said.

In an earlier report, the OSCE said its monitors and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) had come under a mortar attack in Donetsk, with shells exploding some 100-200 metres away.

The monitors said members of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) present at the location reported that a total of four people had been killed in the incident.

About 20 metres from its position, the SMM team could see the body of a civilian woman lying on the street, the report added.

"While at the scene, the SMM team heard mortar shelling. Subsequently, four shells impacted and exploded within 20 seconds about 200 metres from the team’s position."

"The SMM monitoring team stopped at another location about 1 km away from the market. About 10 minutes later another mortar shell exploded about 100 m from the SMM's position. The SMM team immediately left the area."

The head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), Ertugrul Apakan Monday urged all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to allow monitors to carry out their duties and verification of the ceasefire regime safely.

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