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Three killed in second attack on Engels base deep in Russia

Three killed in second attack on Engels base deep in Russia

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Dec 26 (Reuters) – Three Russian servicemen were killed early on Monday when debris fell from a Ukrainian drone that was shot down while attacking a base in Russia’s Saratov region, Russian news agencies said, citing the defense ministry.

It was the second attack on the base this month.

“A Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at a low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region,” the Russian ministry’s news agencies reported.

“As a result of the fall of the remains of the drone, three Russian servicemen of the technical staff, located at the airport, were mortally wounded.

The base, near the city of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow and hundreds of kilometers from the front lines in Ukraine, was struck on 5 Dec in what Russia said were Ukrainian drone attacks on two Russian air bases that day.

The twin strikes inflicted on Russia a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defenses failed, analysts said, as attention turned to the use of drones in the war between the neighbors.

Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks in Russia, but has said such incidents are “karma” for the Russian invasion.

The Russian Defense Ministry said no aircraft were damaged, but unofficial reports on Russian and Ukrainian social media said a number of aircraft were destroyed.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.

Earlier on Monday, Roman Busargin, governor of Saratov Oblast, said that civil infrastructure facilities were not damaged in the incident.

“There is absolutely no threat to residents… Civil infrastructure facilities were not damaged,” Busargin said.

Reporting in Melbourne by Lydia Kelly; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Michael Perry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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