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Death toll rises to 12 in Russian bombing of hypermarket in Kharkiv

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The death toll in Saturday’s Russian bombing of a hypermarket in Kharkiv has increased to at least 12, Ukrainian officials said Sunday morning.

“The attack targeted the shopping center, where there were many people — this is clearly terrorism,” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said. He said about 120 people were in the home-improvement store when the bombs struck.

Two guided bombs hit the Epicentr DIY hypermarket in a residential area of the city on Saturday, Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on national television early Sunday. A large fire could be seen raging at the store on the northern outskirts of Kharkiv, the BBC reported. Another 43 people were injured in the attack, officials said.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is about 30 kilometers from the Russian border and has come under attack in recent weeks as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces have made a push into the northeast region.

“This strike on Kharkiv is another manifestation of Russian madness,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Saturday. “Only madmen like Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people in this way.”

A second strike in central Kharkiv later on Saturday injured eight people, according to Mayor Terekhov.

Zelenskyy appealed for more military help after Saturday’s attack. “When we tell the world leaders that Ukraine needs sufficient air defense protection … so that Russian terrorists cannot even get close to our borders, we are talking about literally preventing such terrorist attacks,” the president said.

Saturday’s bombing came two days after Moscow’s forces struck a printing house in Kharkiv with several missiles, killing seven workers and injuring at least 20.

Veronika Melkozerova contributed reporting.

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