Ukraine's civilian death toll exceeds 7,000, UN rights office says

More than 7,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor last February, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Monday.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes," an OHCHR statement said.

The UN rights office said it had confirmed 7,031 civilian deaths but believes actual casualty tolls are "considerably higher" given the pending corroboration of many reports and the inaccessibility of areas where intense fighting is taking place.

Most of the recorded civilian deaths occurred in government-held areas of Ukraine - 6,536 compared with 495 recorded in Russian-held areas. OHCHR did not attribute responsibility for the deaths.

Ukraine says the numbers of civilians killed could run into the tens of thousands. Both countries deny targeting civilians.

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