Shelling in the city of Enerhodar near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power has been ongoing since Thursday morning, according to Ukrainian and Russian-installed regional officials.
“Since 5 a.m. [local time], constant mortar shelling has not stopped,” Enerhodar’s Mayor Dmytro Orlov said in a Telegram post, adding that “helicopters” had been circling over the city. “One can hear automatic weapons. It is known that several civilian facilities were hit. There are victims! We are clarifying how many.”
The Russian-appointed military-civilian administration of Enerhodar also claimed there had been “at least three” civilian casualties and five injuries, including a child.
CNN has not been able to independently verify claims from either side.
Inspectors on the way: The reports come as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) traveled to the nuclear plant for a planned inspection of the facility in southeastern Ukraine, which has been held by Russian forces since March.
In a separate report, the head of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia regional military administration Oleksandr Starukh accused Russian forces of “shelling the pre-agreed route of the IAEA mission from Zaporizhzhia to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
CNN reached out to the IAEA regarding any obstacles or security issues on its prearranged route to the plant but has not received a response.
Setting off from Zaporizhzhia city earlier Thursday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi acknowledged the “inherent risks” his monitoring team would face after leaving the “gray zone” where the last line of Ukrainian defenses end but said the mission would persevere.