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Fifteen civilians killed as battle for Donetsk rages on

Fifteen civilians were killed after Donetsk came under more heavy shelling today, according to city authorities.

A car on fire in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine
A car on fire in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine Credit: APTN

People ran for shelter after shells fell on a market area of the eastern Ukrainian city. Emergency services rushed to carry away the casualties and out out fires in apartment buildings and cars.

A balcony and windows blown out by shelling at an apartment block in Donetsk
A balcony and windows blown out by shelling at an apartment block in Donetsk Credit: Reuters

Some apartment buildings showed signs of extensive damage from two weeks of shelling as Ukrainian forces try to wrest the city from the grip of pro-Russia rebels.

Damage to an apartment building
Damage to an apartment building Credit: Reuters

Local media agencies also distributed footage purporting to show civilians killed by shelling in the streets.

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Ukraine: Artillery shells hit 'close to Donetsk city centre'

Artillery shells hit close to the city centre of the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Reuters news agency reports.

People poured out of their offices onto the stairwell of the city's main administration building after loud explosions nearby triggered an evacuation warning. There were at least two further blasts near the city, the first time artillery shells have hit the area.

Read: Russian aid convoy to be stopped from entering Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatist leader's car 'blown up' in Donetsk

A car bomb has reportedly exploded in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk in an apparent attempt on the life of pro-Russian separatist leader Denis Pushilin.

The Associated Press reports a spokesman for the self-proclaimed 'People's Republic of Donetsk' saying three of Mr Pushilin's bodyguards had been injured in the attack.

Mr Pushilin himself was not in the vehicle at the time and was unharmed.

Read: Poroshenko sworn in as president of Ukraine

Foreign fighters join battalion in eastern Ukraine

Foreign fighters from Russia, Georgia and Russian Caucasus region of Ossetia are fighting alongside separatists of Battalion Vostok in eastern Ukraine, seeking the region's independence from pro-western leadership in Kiev.

A pro-Russian rebel from the Vostok Battalion Credit: Reuters

Members of Battalion Vostok - or the East Battalion - said Chechens from Russia's former rebellious region of Chechnya have joined their ranks earlier, but had now gone home, Reuters news agency reported.

Moscow has denied involvement in the conflict that threatens to tear Ukraine apart, but Ukraine's leadership says Russian authorities could do far more to stop these armed groups crossing into eastern Ukraine.

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Russia: EU should respect Ukraine referendum results

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the European Union should respect the results of the referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine over the weekend.

Mr Lavrov's comments follow an apparently overwhelming victory for pro-Russian separatists, with rebel leaders claiming over 85% of voters in both regions voted in favour of independence from Ukraine.

The leader of the rebels in Donetsk has now reportedly asked for his region to be incorporated into the Russian Federation, though the Kremlin has yet to respond to the request.

Read: Donetsk rebels 'ask Putin to become part of Russia'

England fans 'happy to come out on top'

I think we played really well. It was the usual England, keeping us on the edge of our seats. We did the right thing playing Rooney. It's given us some confidence."

– Joll Harding, 51, from Ruislip, Middlese

It was a difficult game for England because both teams played well. I'm so happy we came out on top."

– Stu Bishop, 28, from Rugby

It wasn't the best performance in the world but it got us the result. Rooney's header was a poacher's goal. That is what we brought him in for. Italy will be a very tough game though."

– Paul Lamkin, 51, from Basildon, Essex

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