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Dozens are feared dead after a Russian airstrike hits a school building, officials say.

Dozens of people are feared dead after a Russian airstrike leveled a school in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, local officials said, as Russian forces kept up their unrelenting bombardment of towns and cities across the region.

The Ukrainian government said the basement of the school in the village of Bilohorivka, in the Luhansk region, was sheltering civilians, a claim that could not be independently verified. The village is only a few miles from the front line and has come under repeated assault.

After a social club was recently destroyed in shelling, the school became the last refuge for civilians, according to local officials, who said there were about 90 people in the building on Saturday when it exploded into flames.

Initial reports suggested that some 30 people made it to safety or were not caught up in the explosion, but that as many as 60 could be trapped. If the death toll is as high as local officials fear, it could be one of the deadliest single attacks since Russia renewed its offensive in eastern Ukraine less than a month ago.

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