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Russia Bombs Mosque Where 80 Civilians Took Refuge

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has accused Russian forces of bombing a mosque in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where more than 80 adults and children were hiding and taking refuge.

“The mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana (Hurrem Sultan) in Mariupol was shelled by Russian invaders,” the foreign ministry wrote on Twitter.

“More than 80 adults and children are hiding there from the shelling, including citizens of Turkey.”

📚 Read Also: Ukraine War & Refugees: Human Suffering Has No Colour

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The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey said that a group of 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among the people who had sought safety in the mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roksolana.

Mariupol has been under siege and bombardment for more than two weeks and is encircled by Russian troops.

The city of 446,000 people has endured some of Ukraine’s worst misery since Russia invaded, with unceasing barrages thwarting repeated attempts to bring in food, water and medicine, evacuate trapped civilians and even bury the dead.

“They are bombing it (Mariupol) 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It is hatred. They kill children,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a video address.

Ukraine Mufti Fighting Putin

On the other hand, Said Ismagilov, mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine and one of the country’s top Islamic leaders, has joined the Territorial Defense Forces in Kyiv and has been fighting since the launch of the Russian war on February 24.

Images shared on Facebook and social media showed Ismagilov, an ethnic Tatar, donning combat fatigues instead of his traditional robes, Middle East Eye reported.

“We have been in a state of brutal war for more than two weeks. I don’t even remember what day of the week it is, and what date is on the calendar right now. In war, time turns into one continuous stream and never seems to end,” he said.

“Therefore, I didn’t have time and opportunity to monitor what is happening in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk, so I don’t have information about the current conditions of Muslim people living there.”

Following a Russian military build-up on the Russia–Ukraine border from late 2021, the war expanded significantly when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

It is the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II.   

Thousands of soldiers on both sides are believed to have been killed along with many civilians. At least 2.5 million people have fled the country, according to the United Nations refugee agency.