Ukraine bombs town housing Russian-held nuclear plant: Army

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Ukraine said on Friday it had bombed a Russian base in the town of Energodar, where United Nations inspectors are visiting the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant amid safety concerns.

“Targeted strikes by our troops in the localities of Energodar and Kherson have destroyed three artillery systems of the enemy as well as an ammunition depot,” the Ukrainian army said.

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The pro-Kyiv mayor of Energodar, Dmytro Orlov -- who is in exile -- told AFP he had no information but added that phone services in the town were badly disrupted.

A 14-strong team from the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Thursday as global concern grows over its safety in a war raging ever-closer to its six reactors.

Most of them have left. Russia’s envoy to Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov said six IAEA inspectors had stayed behind and that two more would remain there “on a permanent basis.”

The Ukrainian army said the Russian forces had removed “all their equipment” from the site of Europe’s largest nuclear plant before the UN team arrived on Thursday.

Russian troops seized control of the site in early March.

There have been repeated attacks in the vicinity but both Moscow and Kyiv have denied responsibility.

A shelling attack on the area at dawn on Thursday forced one of the plant’s six reactors to close. Ukraine’s Energoatom nuclear agency said it was “the second time in 10 days” that Russian shelling had forced the closure of a reactor.

Read more: Two IAEA inspectors to stay at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant permanently

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