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Russian missile attack hits market in Ukraine, 16 dead

A child was among at least 16 people killed when a Russian missile crashed into a market in the heart of a Ukrainian city, officials in the country said Wednesday.

The attack on the industrial eastern city of Kostiantynivka, the deadliest in months, came hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the capital, Kyiv, in a show of U.S. support. 

Calling it a “terrible terrorist act by Russia,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a Telegram post that “16 people are already known to have died, including 1 child,” in Kostiantynivka, in the eastern Donetsk region. “My sincere condolences to the families and loved ones,” he added. 

Twenty eight people were injured in the strike, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said in a separate post on his Telegram channel, adding that a rescuer was among the victims.  

He also posted pictures and videos from the scene showing destroyed buildings and firefighters battling blazes. Several showed what appeared to be armed forces carrying a body from the wreckage. Shymal also posted video of a burning building.

NBC News could not independently verify the footage.

The attack came as Blinken was on a trip to the country in a gesture of support as its three-month-old counteroffensive against Russian forces grinds on.

Blinken, the first top U.S. official to visit Kyiv since the counteroffensive began in early June met with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.   

“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but has what it needs for the long term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent,” Blinken told a news conference ahead of the meeting.

Kuleba said in an earlier Telegram post, alongside a picture of the pair, that they had paid their respects to “fallen heroes” at Kyiv’s Berkovetske cemetery.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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