UPDATED: At least eight killed by shelling in Kyiv’s Podil district – authorities, Kyiv mayor announces curfew

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March 20 (Reuters) – Shelling hit residential houses and a shopping district in Kyiv’s Podil district late on Sunday, killing at least eight people, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.

“According to the information we have at the moment, several homes and one of the shopping centres [were hit],” city mayor Vitali Klitschko said on his Telegram channel.

He said rescue teams were putting out a large fire at the shopping centre, while other details were still to be confirmed. The Kyiv department of the state emergency service said four people had been killed.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the reports on the ground.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 3 million and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the “special military operation”, which started on Feb. 24, is aimed at disarming Ukraine and rooting out dangerous nationalists.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Kyiv on Monday announced a “reinforced curfew” in the Ukrainian capital from 8.00 p.m. (1800 GMT) until 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said shops, pharmacies and petrol stations would not open on Tuesday. Parts of the city have come under fire repeatedly from Russian forces.

“I ask everyone to stay at home – or in shelters when the alarm sounds,” he said.

A handout photo released by the press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on 21 March 2022 shows emergency services tackling a blaze at a shopping center in the Podilskyi district of Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine. EPA-EFE/STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE OF UKRAINE HANDOUT

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