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Officials say 300 feared dead in Russian strike on Mariupol theater

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Ukrainian officials in the strategic port city of Mariupol said Friday they feared 300 people could have died in last week’s Russian strike on a theater where hundreds were sheltering.

“From eyewitnesses, information is emerging that about 300 people died in the Drama Theater of Mariupol following strikes by a Russian aircraft,” Mariupol city hall wrote on Telegram.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week following the strike that hundreds of people, believed mostly to be women and children, had taken in the building at the time of the attack.

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Mariupol city hall said Friday the theater was destroyed in a “cynical” attack and claimed that Russia knew civilians were taking refuge in the building.

Zelenskyy says nearly 100,000 people are trapped without food, water or power in the besieged city and enduring fierce shelling by Russian forces.

The leader of Russia’s southern republic of Chechnya said Thursday that forces from his region had taken control of Mariupol city hall and hoisted the Russian flag.

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