OSCE SMM remains in Donetsk, not planning to evacuate after car-burning incident - spokesman

Monitors from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are not leaving the hotel they were staying at in Donetsk, after an overnight incident in which four SMM vehicles had been burned down, OSCE SMM spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told Interfax-Ukraine on Sunday.

When asked whether he could confirm or deny media allegations of the SMM staff's decision to leave Donetsk, Bociurkiw denied the reports, saying there are no evacuation plans.

He also confirmed that four OSCE SMM vehicles had been burned down overnight at around half past two in the morning. An inquiry is underway to find out who carried out the attack, Bociurkiw said. While the incident will affect their working conditions, the monitors will nevertheless remain in the rebel-held area and continue working, the SMM spokesman said.

Hromadske TV said on its website earlier, citing an OSCE source, that the SMM had decided to leave Donetsk. At the same time, another source said that SMM representatives would hold another meeting, following which they would release a formal statement.

It was reported that four vehicles of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of OSCE had been burned near the residence of the monitors in Donetsk last night.

"Four OSCE armored vehicles destroyed overnight in apparent arson attack at SMM Donetsk residence," the OSCE mission twitted on Sunday.

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