Shelling echoes around Donetsk as Kiev presses against rebels

DONETSK, Ukraine, July 26 Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:38am EDT

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DONETSK, Ukraine, July 26 (Reuters) - Shelling and explosions were heard around the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Saturday, and many shops were shuttered as Ukrainian forces pressed their military campaign against pro-Russian separatists.

Ukraine's army has forced the rebels back towards their two main strongholds of Donetsk and the city of Luhansk, where the separatists have boosted their defences, and fighting has raged since a Malaysian airliner was downed last week.

"Last night was terrible. I was woken up at 3 a.m. by the explosions. The walls shook, the windows shook," said Marina, who lives in a southern part of the city.

"There was shooting all over the city. And it still goes on. Maybe it's a little quieter now, but it's all around."

Local officials said some buildings had been damaged, one by fire, and one woman was wounded.

Wearing military camouflage, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko inspected a National Guard base on Saturday and a spokesman for the country's Security Council repeated that Russia was amassing troops nearby Ukraine's border. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic in Donetsk, Lina Kushch in Kiev, Sergei Karazy in Kharkiv, Writing by Elizabeth Piper and Gabriela Baczynska)

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