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Hundreds trapped under theatre: Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says rescue work is ongoing to save hundreds of people still believed to be trapped under the rubble of a bombed theatre in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Earlier, human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova reported 130 survivors had been rescued from the rubble but said there was still no information on more than 1000 other people official figures suggest were sheltering there when the bomb fell.

Ukraine accuses Russia of carrying out the powerful air strike that destroyed the theatre on Wednesday.

Russia has denied bombing the theatre or attacking civilians.

“There are still hundreds of Mariupol residents under the rubble. Despite the shelling, despite all the difficulties, we will continue the rescue work,” Zelenskiy said in an online video address.

The Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed the number of possible casualties.

“Rescuers are working. There is only this information: 130 people are alive and have been taken out. The rest are waiting for help,” ombudswoman Denisova said on television.

“According to our data there are still more than 1300 people there who are in these basements, in that bomb shelter,” Denisova said, referring to underground shelters below the theatre.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the figures.

Mariupol city council has previously said there were more than 1000 people sheltering under the theatre.

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