Ukrainian embassy says 86 Turks sheltering in Mariupol mosque

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara said on Friday there are 86 Turkish citizens sheltering in a mosque in the besieged southern Ukrainian port of Mairupol, as Russian forces continue shelling the city.

Citing local authorities, the embassy said Russian forces had been shelling the city, including the mosque, since the early morning hours. It said 34 of the Turkish citizens hiding there were children.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment. Turkey has been helping its citizens leave Ukraine via buses and trains since Russia’s invasion began. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said 13,719 citizens had been evacuated.

Russia and Ukraine have been negotiating opening a humanitarian corridor to allow safe passage for those trapped in Mariupol but efforts have failed repeatedly this week.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Jonathan Oatis)