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Protesters Back at Washington Immigration Jail After Attack

Protesters Back at Washington Immigration Jail After Attack

Demonstrators returned to an immigration jail in Washington state a day after an armed man threw incendiary devices at the detention center and later died.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was found dead Saturday after four police officers arrived and opened fire.

Demonstrators returned Sunday to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, KOMO-TV reported. The demonstrators were protesting the facility and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups that were supposed to begin Sunday.

The facility holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The center’s operator, GEO Group, said in a statement it was aware of a “community gathering” Sunday. “We respect every individual’s right to use their voice and express their opinions,” the center said.

‘I think this was a suicide’

Bullet holes riddled the scene Sunday, The News-Tribune reported. Police searched Van Spronsen’s Vashon Island home, the Tacoma newspaper reported.

Van Spronsen’s friend, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict. She described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs. I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

Prior scuffle with police

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket. Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and he was given a deferred sentence in October, The News-Tribune reported.

Van Spronsen had worked as a self-employed carpenter and contractor, according to court documents. He was also a folk singer, playing shows on Vashon Island and around the Seattle area, The Times reported.

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Protesters Back at Washington Immigration Jail After Attack

Demonstrators returned to an immigration jail in Washington state a day after an armed man threw incendiary devices at the detention center and later died.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was found dead Saturday after four police officers arrived and opened fire.

Demonstrators returned Sunday to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, KOMO-TV reported. The demonstrators were protesting the facility and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups that were supposed to begin Sunday.

The facility holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The center’s operator, GEO Group, said in a statement it was aware of a “community gathering” Sunday. “We respect every individual’s right to use their voice and express their opinions,” the center said.

‘I think this was a suicide’

Bullet holes riddled the scene Sunday, The News-Tribune reported. Police searched Van Spronsen’s Vashon Island home, the Tacoma newspaper reported.

Van Spronsen’s friend, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict. She described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs. I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

Prior scuffle with police

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket. Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and he was given a deferred sentence in October, The News-Tribune reported.

Van Spronsen had worked as a self-employed carpenter and contractor, according to court documents. He was also a folk singer, playing shows on Vashon Island and around the Seattle area, The Times reported.

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Hawaii Telescope Construction Expected to Draw Protesters, Police

Police and protesters are gearing up for a fight in Hawaii as construction is set to begin on a massive telescope on Mauna Kea, the islands’ highest peak, considered sacred by some native Hawaiians.

State officials said the road to the top of Mauna Kea mountain on the Big Island will be closed starting Monday as equipment is delivered to the construction site.

Scientists chose Mauna Kea in 2009 after a five-year, worldwide search for the ideal site for the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. Construction was supposed to begin in 2014 but was halted by protests.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope will desecrate sacred land. According to the University of Hawaii, ancient Hawaiians considered the location kapu, or forbidden. Only the highest-ranking chiefs and priests were allowed to make the long trek to Mauna Kea’s summit above the clouds.

Supporters of telescope say it will not only make important scientific discoveries but bring educational and economic opportunities to Hawaii.

The company behind the telescope is made up of a group of universities in California and Canada, with partners from China, India and Japan.  

Astronomers hope the telescope will help them look back 13 billion years to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe.

It is not clear what the opponents of the project have planned for Monday but Gov. David Ige said unarmed National Guard units will be on hand to help enforce road closures and transport workers and supplies.

 

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Hawaii Telescope Construction Expected to Draw Protesters, Police

Police and protesters are gearing up for a fight in Hawaii as construction is set to begin on a massive telescope on Mauna Kea, the islands’ highest peak, considered sacred by some native Hawaiians.

State officials said the road to the top of Mauna Kea mountain on the Big Island will be closed starting Monday as equipment is delivered to the construction site.

Scientists chose Mauna Kea in 2009 after a five-year, worldwide search for the ideal site for the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. Construction was supposed to begin in 2014 but was halted by protests.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope will desecrate sacred land. According to the University of Hawaii, ancient Hawaiians considered the location kapu, or forbidden. Only the highest-ranking chiefs and priests were allowed to make the long trek to Mauna Kea’s summit above the clouds.

Supporters of telescope say it will not only make important scientific discoveries but bring educational and economic opportunities to Hawaii.

The company behind the telescope is made up of a group of universities in California and Canada, with partners from China, India and Japan.  

Astronomers hope the telescope will help them look back 13 billion years to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe.

It is not clear what the opponents of the project have planned for Monday but Gov. David Ige said unarmed National Guard units will be on hand to help enforce road closures and transport workers and supplies.

 

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Police: 69-Year-Old Man Dies after Attacking Migrant Jail

A 69-year-old man armed with a rifle threw incendiary devices at an immigration jail in Washington state early Saturday morning, then was found dead after four police officers arrived and opened fire, authorities said.

The Tacoma Police Department said the officers responded about 4 a.m. to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security detention facility that holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The shooting took place about six hours after a peaceful rally in front of the detention center, police spokesman Loretta Cool said.

On Saturday night, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, the Tacoma News-Tribune and the Seattle Times reported.

Police said Van Spronsen caused a vehicle to catch fire and that he attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set buildings on fire. Police said that besides the rifle, he had a satchel and flares.

Police said officers called out to Van Spronsen, and shots were fired.

Cool said all four officers fired their weapons, but she didn’t have specific details of what took place. She said the officers weren’t wearing body cameras, but the area is covered by surveillance cameras from the detention center. She said she didn’t know if the man fired at the officers.

After the gunfire, officers took cover, contained the area and set up medical aid a short distance away, police said.

Officers then located Van Spronsen and determined he had been shot and was dead at the scene.

Authorities say investigators are processing the scene and police are continuing to investigate. No law enforcement officers were injured. The four Tacoma police officers who fired their weapons have been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard in officer-involved shootings.

A friend of Van Spronsen said that she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict, the Seattle Times reported.

Deb Bartley, who told the Times she has been a friend of Willem Van Spronsen’s for about 20 years, described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist, and believes his attack on the detention center intending to provoke a fatal conflict.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs . I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

She said that she and other friends of Van Spronsen got letters in the mail “just saying goodbye.” He also wrote what she referred to as a manifesto, which she declined to discuss in detail, the Times reported.

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket.  Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and was given a deferred sentence in October, the News-Tribune reported.

GEO Group, which runs the 1,575-bed Northwest Detention Center, in an email to The Associated Press said baseless accusations about how detainees are treated at its facilities “have led to misplaced aggression and a dangerous environment for our employees, whose safety is our top priority. Violence of any kind against our employees and property will not be tolerated. We are thankful for the quick and brave action by the Tacoma Police Department, which prevented innocent lives from being endangered.”

GEO Group said the detention center in Tacoma has modern amenities with air conditioning, recreational activities, a bed for every individual and medical care available at all hours.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that Washington state could pursue its lawsuit seeking to force GEO Group to pay minimum wage for work done by detainees at the detention center.

In November, a Russian asylum-seeker who conducted a hunger strike to protest the conditions at the detention center died by suicide, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled.

Mergensana Amar, 40, was taken off life support after attempting to kill himself while in voluntary protective custody at the detention center on Nov. 15, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

 

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Police: 69-Year-Old Man Dies after Attacking Migrant Jail

A 69-year-old man armed with a rifle threw incendiary devices at an immigration jail in Washington state early Saturday morning, then was found dead after four police officers arrived and opened fire, authorities said.

The Tacoma Police Department said the officers responded about 4 a.m. to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security detention facility that holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The shooting took place about six hours after a peaceful rally in front of the detention center, police spokesman Loretta Cool said.

On Saturday night, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, the Tacoma News-Tribune and the Seattle Times reported.

Police said Van Spronsen caused a vehicle to catch fire and that he attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set buildings on fire. Police said that besides the rifle, he had a satchel and flares.

Police said officers called out to Van Spronsen, and shots were fired.

Cool said all four officers fired their weapons, but she didn’t have specific details of what took place. She said the officers weren’t wearing body cameras, but the area is covered by surveillance cameras from the detention center. She said she didn’t know if the man fired at the officers.

After the gunfire, officers took cover, contained the area and set up medical aid a short distance away, police said.

Officers then located Van Spronsen and determined he had been shot and was dead at the scene.

Authorities say investigators are processing the scene and police are continuing to investigate. No law enforcement officers were injured. The four Tacoma police officers who fired their weapons have been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard in officer-involved shootings.

A friend of Van Spronsen said that she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict, the Seattle Times reported.

Deb Bartley, who told the Times she has been a friend of Willem Van Spronsen’s for about 20 years, described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist, and believes his attack on the detention center intending to provoke a fatal conflict.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs . I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

She said that she and other friends of Van Spronsen got letters in the mail “just saying goodbye.” He also wrote what she referred to as a manifesto, which she declined to discuss in detail, the Times reported.

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket.  Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and was given a deferred sentence in October, the News-Tribune reported.

GEO Group, which runs the 1,575-bed Northwest Detention Center, in an email to The Associated Press said baseless accusations about how detainees are treated at its facilities “have led to misplaced aggression and a dangerous environment for our employees, whose safety is our top priority. Violence of any kind against our employees and property will not be tolerated. We are thankful for the quick and brave action by the Tacoma Police Department, which prevented innocent lives from being endangered.”

GEO Group said the detention center in Tacoma has modern amenities with air conditioning, recreational activities, a bed for every individual and medical care available at all hours.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that Washington state could pursue its lawsuit seeking to force GEO Group to pay minimum wage for work done by detainees at the detention center.

In November, a Russian asylum-seeker who conducted a hunger strike to protest the conditions at the detention center died by suicide, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled.

Mergensana Amar, 40, was taken off life support after attempting to kill himself while in voluntary protective custody at the detention center on Nov. 15, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

 

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Pakistan, India Report Progress on New Border Crossing For Sikh Pilgrims

Pakistan and India have agreed to “expeditiously” work out issues related to a new border crossing that would allow Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to one of their holiest temples in Pakistan.

High-level delegations from the two nuclear-armed rival countries met Sunday on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border checkpoint to discuss what is named the “Kartarpur Corridor.”   The number and safety of pilgrims as well as infrastructure were among the issues on the agenda.

The temple, known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, is one of the holiest sites in Sikhism and it is believed to have been built on the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion, who died in the 16th Century.

The chief of the Pakistani delegation told a post-meeting news conference that both sides have resolved most of the issues and another meeting would be required before a final agreement is reached.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal, center, briefs the media before the meeting with Indian officials at Wagah border, near Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, July 14, 2019.

“We had in-depth and productive discussions on the proposed draft agreement and agreed to expeditiously finalize the modalities for operationalizing the Kartarpur Corridor in time for the 550 the anniversary celebrations,” Mohammad Faisal said.

India and Pakistan are aiming to make the corridor operational by November, ahead of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

India’s Sikh minority community has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur. Currently, pilgrims must must first secure visas, travel to the eastern city of Lahore or other major Pakistani destinations before driving to Kartarpur. Political tensions between India and Pakistan often make it difficult for citizens of both the countries to secure timely visas.

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018 file photo, Indian Sikh pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

Pakistan and India agreed late last year to open the Kartarpur corridor, which will lead from the Indian border straight to the temple, with sides fenced off.

The progress toward opening the new border crossing later this year marks a rare instance of cooperation between the two countries, which have fought three wars against each other and came close to a fourth one in February this year.

Most of the conflicts stemmed from the divided Kashmir region, claimed by both sides in its entirety, and it continues to be the primary source of regional tensions.

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Pakistan, India Report Progress on New Border Crossing For Sikh Pilgrims

Pakistan and India have agreed to “expeditiously” work out issues related to a new border crossing that would allow Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to one of their holiest temples in Pakistan.

High-level delegations from the two nuclear-armed rival countries met Sunday on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border checkpoint to discuss what is named the “Kartarpur Corridor.”   The number and safety of pilgrims as well as infrastructure were among the issues on the agenda.

The temple, known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, is one of the holiest sites in Sikhism and it is believed to have been built on the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion, who died in the 16th Century.

The chief of the Pakistani delegation told a post-meeting news conference that both sides have resolved most of the issues and another meeting would be required before a final agreement is reached.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal, center, briefs the media before the meeting with Indian officials at Wagah border, near Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, July 14, 2019.

“We had in-depth and productive discussions on the proposed draft agreement and agreed to expeditiously finalize the modalities for operationalizing the Kartarpur Corridor in time for the 550 the anniversary celebrations,” Mohammad Faisal said.

India and Pakistan are aiming to make the corridor operational by November, ahead of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

India’s Sikh minority community has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur. Currently, pilgrims must must first secure visas, travel to the eastern city of Lahore or other major Pakistani destinations before driving to Kartarpur. Political tensions between India and Pakistan often make it difficult for citizens of both the countries to secure timely visas.

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018 file photo, Indian Sikh pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

Pakistan and India agreed late last year to open the Kartarpur corridor, which will lead from the Indian border straight to the temple, with sides fenced off.

The progress toward opening the new border crossing later this year marks a rare instance of cooperation between the two countries, which have fought three wars against each other and came close to a fourth one in February this year.

Most of the conflicts stemmed from the divided Kashmir region, claimed by both sides in its entirety, and it continues to be the primary source of regional tensions.

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Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal Was ‘Diplomatic Vandalism’

The former British ambassador to the U.S. believed President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal was an act of “diplomatic vandalism” against his predecessor Barack Obama, according to newly leaked memos published Sunday in a British newspaper.

The Mail published the memo from Kim Darroch on Sunday.  

Last week the newspaper published other leaked memos from Darroch about Trump in which the diplomat described the U.S. leader as “inept,” “insecure” and “incompetent” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

Darroch resigned from his post Wednesday after the publication of the leaked diplomatic cables and Trump’s Twitter attack about the memos.  

Trump posted Darroch was “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool.”  The U.S. president said he would “no longer deal” with the British ambassador.  

The leaked cables were meant to be seen only by senior British ministers and civil servants. 

 

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Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal Was ‘Diplomatic Vandalism’

The former British ambassador to the U.S. believed President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal was an act of “diplomatic vandalism” against his predecessor Barack Obama, according to newly leaked memos published Sunday in a British newspaper.

The Mail published the memo from Kim Darroch on Sunday.  

Last week the newspaper published other leaked memos from Darroch about Trump in which the diplomat described the U.S. leader as “inept,” “insecure” and “incompetent” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

Darroch resigned from his post Wednesday after the publication of the leaked diplomatic cables and Trump’s Twitter attack about the memos.  

Trump posted Darroch was “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool.”  The U.S. president said he would “no longer deal” with the British ambassador.  

The leaked cables were meant to be seen only by senior British ministers and civil servants. 

 

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За добу на фронті двоє військових отримали поранення – штаб

Двоє військовослужбовців Збройних сил України були поранені протягом доби 13 липня, повідомляє штаб Операції об’єднаних сил. За підсумками доби, бойовики 15 разів порушили режим припинення вогню, в тому числі із застосуванням зброї, забороненої Мінськими угодами.

Як зазначають у прес-службі штабу, незаконні збройні угруповання обстрілювали позиції українських військових в зоні оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Схід» поблизу сіл Широкине, Опитне, Водяне, Новотроїцьке, Верхньоторецьке, Піски та поруч із містом Авдіївка.

Читайте також: Українські «морські котики». Офіцер Сил спеціальних операцій розповідає про «Сі Бриз-2019»

«В районі відповідальності оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Північ» позиції наших захисників були обстріляні п’ять разів: двічі поблизу Зайцевого – з мінометів калібру 120 міліметрів та станкових протитанкових гранатометів; поряд Новоолександрівки – з мінометів калібру 120 та 82 міліметри, гранатометів різних систем та великокаліберного кулемету; два рази неподалік Новолуганського – з артилерійських систем калібру 122 міліметри, мінометів калібру 120 міліметрів та ручних протитанкових гранатометів», – йдеться в зведенні.

Також, додають у штабі, з початку доби 14 липня бойовики чотири рази обстріляли позиції ЗСУ: під Широкиним, Кримським і Зайцевим.

Бойовики незаконних збройних угруповань, своєю чергою, заявляють про обстріли українськими військовими своїх позицій на окупованих територіях.​

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

Унаслідок бойових дій, за оцінками ООН станом на 31 грудня 2018 року, загинули від 12 тисяч 800 до 13 тисяч людей.

Перемир’я, про які домовлялися на засіданнях Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську, порушувалися практично відразу. При цьому сторони заперечують свою вину в цих порушеннях і звинувачують противників у провокаціях.

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За добу на фронті двоє військових отримали поранення – штаб

Двоє військовослужбовців Збройних сил України були поранені протягом доби 13 липня, повідомляє штаб Операції об’єднаних сил. За підсумками доби, бойовики 15 разів порушили режим припинення вогню, в тому числі із застосуванням зброї, забороненої Мінськими угодами.

Як зазначають у прес-службі штабу, незаконні збройні угруповання обстрілювали позиції українських військових в зоні оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Схід» поблизу сіл Широкине, Опитне, Водяне, Новотроїцьке, Верхньоторецьке, Піски та поруч із містом Авдіївка.

Читайте також: Українські «морські котики». Офіцер Сил спеціальних операцій розповідає про «Сі Бриз-2019»

«В районі відповідальності оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Північ» позиції наших захисників були обстріляні п’ять разів: двічі поблизу Зайцевого – з мінометів калібру 120 міліметрів та станкових протитанкових гранатометів; поряд Новоолександрівки – з мінометів калібру 120 та 82 міліметри, гранатометів різних систем та великокаліберного кулемету; два рази неподалік Новолуганського – з артилерійських систем калібру 122 міліметри, мінометів калібру 120 міліметрів та ручних протитанкових гранатометів», – йдеться в зведенні.

Також, додають у штабі, з початку доби 14 липня бойовики чотири рази обстріляли позиції ЗСУ: під Широкиним, Кримським і Зайцевим.

Бойовики незаконних збройних угруповань, своєю чергою, заявляють про обстріли українськими військовими своїх позицій на окупованих територіях.​

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

Унаслідок бойових дій, за оцінками ООН станом на 31 грудня 2018 року, загинули від 12 тисяч 800 до 13 тисяч людей.

Перемир’я, про які домовлялися на засіданнях Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську, порушувалися практично відразу. При цьому сторони заперечують свою вину в цих порушеннях і звинувачують противників у провокаціях.

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