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OSCE Mission Under Fire in East Ukraine

© Sputnik / Sergey Pivovarov / Go to the photo bankA patrol of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), deployed in Ukraine, has been fired upon in the southeast of the country, the SMM has said in a spot report. Archiv photo.
A patrol of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), deployed in Ukraine, has been fired upon in the southeast of the country, the SMM has said in a spot report. Archiv photo. - Sputnik International
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A patrol of the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE was fired upon, travelling between two Ukrainian military checkpoints in the Donetsk region.

VIENNA, November 27 (Sputnik) – A patrol of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), deployed in Ukraine, has been fired upon in the southeast of the country, the SMM has said in a spot report.

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"A rocket-propelled grenade and multiple anti-aircraft rounds were fired at an SMM patrol on 26 November," the report, released Wednesday, said.

According to the SMM, the incident occurred while a patrol of three OSCE monitors was travelling between two Ukrainian military checkpoints in the Donetsk region.

The grenade hit the ground "approximately 150 meters [almost 500 feet] from the SMM vehicle", the spot report said and within "two seconds, multiple rounds of 23mm anti-aircraft ammunition were fired, impacting two to three meters from the SMM vehicle".

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"There were no injuries or damage sustained in the attack. The SMM monitors returned safely to their base," the report concluded.

Last week, the SMM reported that Ukrainian forces did not allow OSCE monitors to pass through a bridge checkpoint in Debaltseve.

The SMM was deployed in Ukraine in March, following a request by the Kiev government and a consensus decision by all 57 OSCE participating states. The mission is meant to contribute to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security in the conflict-torn Ukraine.

The conflict in Ukraine escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of a February coup.

The two sides reached a ceasefire agreement in September, but have since accused each other of violating the truce.

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