KEY POINTS

  • Russian forces fired anti-tank guided missiles at a minibus carrying civilians in Ukraine's Kherson region, Ukrainian officials say
  • Two civilians were killed, while another two are in critical condition
  • The survivors have been hospitalized and are receiving medical assistance

Russian forces in Ukraine's mostly-captured Kherson region opened fire at a vehicle carrying civilians, killing several people, Ukrainian officials said.

A red minibus was evacuating seven civilians from occupied Starosillya Monday when Russian forces shot the vehicle at point blank range with anti-tank guided missiles near the village of Dovhove, according to Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the military administration of the Kryvyi Rih region.

Two of the civilians were killed as a result of the attack, Vilkul revealed in a post on Telegram.

The remaining five, three men and two women, were evacuated to Kryvyi Rih.

Among the group, two are in critical condition after suffering from burn shock, according to Vilkul.

"All of them have been hospitalized in Kryvyi Rih and are receiving medical assistance," the official said.

Russian forces have repeatedly been accused of deliberately targeting civilians in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In one incident that happened on April 14, Russian forces opened fire at evacuation buses in a village in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, killing seven civilians and injuring another 27, the regional prosecutor's office said.

Another Russian attack on the besieged city of Mykolaiv Friday, which used cluster munitions, killed at least five people, according to Vitaliy Kim, head of the region's military administration.

The Russian government has denied or deflected responsibility for the reported attacks on civilians in the war.

Killing, torturing or taking hostage of non-combatants in war violates the Geneva Conventions.

The use, transfer, production and stockpiling of cluster bombs are prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

At least 5,237 civilians, including 348 children, were killed in Ukraine between the start of Russia's invasion on Feb. 24 and July 25, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in its most recent casualty report.

The actual figures may be "considerably higher" due to the delays in the receipt of information as well as the need for reports to be verified, according to the agency.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes," the OHCHR said.

A service member of pro-Russian troops holds a rocket-propelled grenade at a fighting position near the Azovstal steel plant during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 5, 2022. Picture taken May 5, 2022.
A service member of pro-Russian troops holds a rocket-propelled grenade at a fighting position near the Azovstal steel plant during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 5, 2022. Picture taken May 5, 2022. Reuters / ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO
MEET IBT NEWS FROM BELOW CHANNELS

© Copyright IBTimes 2022. All rights reserved.