Ukraine nuclear power plant fired on, UN watchdog reports

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Explosions rocked Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant this weekend, according to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Rafael Grossi, director general of the IAEA, called reports that experts from the agency on the ground had heard more than a dozen explosions near the plant “extremely disturbing” and “completely unacceptable”.

“Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you are playing with fire!” said Grossi in a statement.

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Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the explosions, which damaged some buildings, systems and equipment in Zaporizhzhia, according to IAEA experts.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has destabilized the plant and heightened international concern over a possible nuclear accident amid lingering concerns over Russian President Putin’s threat to use such weapons in the war.

The weekend’s latest blasts ended a “period of relative calm” in the area, the IAEA said.

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Grossi underlined his continued calls on both sides of the conflict to create a safe zone around the plant to prevent nuclear accidents as the war continues.

“I will not give up until this zone becomes a reality. As the continued apparent shelling shows, it is needed more than ever,” said Grossi.

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