World Bulletin / News Desk
Heavy shelling has killed one civilian in the government-controlled town of Avdiyivka in east Ukraine and halted production at one of Europe's largest coke plants, regional police and Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest said on Sunday.
The Avdiyivka factory, which is owned by Metinvest and produces 40 percent of Ukraine's coke, is the main employer in the town and has become a target for pro-Russian separatists since they took up arms against the government last April.
Last week, a worker there was killed and two wounded in what Metinvest described as the heaviest shelling since the declaration of the ceasefire.
"This is the second powerful bombardment in the past few days ... The business has been stopped as a matter of urgency. Coke production is halted," Metinvest said in a statement on its website. "As soon as the situation stabilises, work to restore power supply to the factory will begin."
Damage to internal rail tracks at Avdiyivka meant the factory was not able to bring in raw materials or ship out finished products, Metinvest, which is Ukraine's largest steel firm, had said on Friday.
Avdiyivka, which had a population of around 35,000 before the conflict erupted last year, is on territory controlled by government forces but it lies close to the frontline and the Ukrainian military has accused separatists of attacks there since a ceasefire came into force in mid-February.
"The town is without electricity and running water," the head of Donetsk regional police Vyacheslav Abroskin said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
"One young man was killed and two women seriously wounded," he said.
Any production outages at the coke plant will threaten output at Ukraine's steel plants, including two of the largest in Mariupol, a strategic, government-held port city in the southeast of the country.Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Mayıs 2015, 12:09