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DFA: 3 Filipinos injured in ship attack in Ukraine

Three Filipinos are confirmed wounded after a suspected Russian missile hit a civilian vessel in the Black Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega, in a text message, said the three are now “out of danger” and are being treated at a hospital in Odessa, Ukraine.

One of them fractured his left hand, while the captain and the third mate sustained minor injuries and are now under treatment.

“All next of kin are notified that they are out of harm’s way. They are in a hospital in Odessa,” he said.

De Vega said the DFA is also verifying reports that a fourth Filipino seafarer suffered minor injuries and is at a hospital.

Meanwhile, he said one Ukrainian national died in the strike but said there is “no confirmation” as of yet on where the missile came from.

A Reuters report citing Ukrainian officials on Wednesday said a Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian vessel entering a Black Sea port in Odessa.

The alleged missile reportedly struck the vessel “at the moment of its entry into the port”.

Ukraine on Wednesday said Russia fired a missile at the civilian ship, injuring the ship’s crew and killing a harbor pilot.

Since a UN-brokered deal guaranteeing safe passage for civilian ships collapsed in July, both Kyiv and Moscow have ramped up military activity and attacks in the Black Sea.

“Continuing the terror of civilian shipping, the enemy insidiously fired an Kh-31P anti-radar missile in the direction of one of the ports of Odesa region from tactical aircraft in the Black Sea,” the Ukrainian army said.

“The missile hit the structure of a civilian vessel flying the Liberian flag as it was entering the port,” it added.

It said a harbour pilot was killed, while another port worker was injured.

“Three crew members, citizens of the Philippines, were injured, one of them was hospitalised,” it added.

The collapse of the UN-backed grain export deal in July prompted Moscow to warn that any ships entering Ukrainian ports could be viewed as potential military targets.

Ukraine subsequently announced the launch of a new “humanitarian corridor”—a sea route for civilian ships —that avoids international waters.

But Russia has continued to attack Ukraine’s grain-exporting ports and infrastructure. With AFP

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