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Russia oil refinery near Ukraine hit by alleged drone attack

The refinery is in southwestern Russia, just 8km (5 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

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Moscow: A drone hit a major Russian oil refinery near the border with Ukraine, sending a ball of flame and black smoke billowing into the sky and prompting the suspension of operations, Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday.

Officials at the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia’s Rostov region said the first drone hit the refinery at 8:40am (05:40GMT), in which a crude distillation unit was hit, triggering a blast and ball of fire.

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The second attack took place at 9:23am, which targeted crude oil reservoirs at the refinery, the largest supplier of oil products in southern Russia, but did not cause any fire, to plant’s management said, adding that no one was injured in the attack. Staff have been evacuated and technological equipment has been stopped to assess the damage.

The refinery is in southwestern Russia, just 8km (5 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian officials on the alleged attack.

Rostov’s Governor Vasily Golubev said the oil refinery suspended operations. He said fragments of two drones had been found at the refinery.

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