Blast caused by drone makes crater in center of Russian town, three hurt: Report

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A Ukraine-operated drone caused an explosion in the center of a Russian town on Sunday, hurting three people and damaging three residential buildings, TASS news agency reported, citing a law enforcement source and the emergency services.

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Kyiv did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously denied Russian assertions that its drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) - have flown into Russian territory and caused damage to civilian infrastructure.

“A Ukrainian Tu-141 Strizh UAV was the cause of an explosion in the town of Kireyevsk, Tula region,” TASS quoted a law enforcement agency source as saying. “The drone was packed with explosives.”

The blast occurred in the center of Kireyevsk, located some 220 kilometer (140 miles) south of Moscow.

None of the three people hurt in the explosion are believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries, Russian news agencies reported.

The blast, which occurred at around 3.20 pm (1220 GMT), caused a large crater in the heart of Kireyevsk, a local emergency services representative told TASS.

Social media videos and pictures showed a muddy crater near a building with its roof and walls heavily damaged. Shards of glass from broken windows spread across the stairwell of a nearby apartment block.

Reuters could not immediately verify the images.

Russia has previously reported drone attacks in several towns and cities, some of them hundreds of kilometers (miles) from its border with Ukraine.

Three Russian air force personnel died on Dec. 26 when a drone believed to be Ukrainian was shot down at the main base for Russia’s strategic bombers near the city of Saratov after flying hundreds of kilometers through Russian airspace.

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