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Russian air attack damages Dnipro power plant, Ukraine says

(Reuters) - Russia attacked the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro with missiles and drones on Tuesday, damaging a power plant and forcing authorities to close schools and evacuate a hospital, Ukrainian officials and media said.

The city of just under one million people came under attack from a missile and four groups of drones approaching from the south, east and north, Ukraine's Air Force said on the Telegram messaging app.

It reported shooting down 16 of 23 drones.

Ukraine's largest private energy provider DTEK said a thermal power plant was significantly damaged. There were no casualties, it added.

The company did not say where the power plant was located, but Dnipro's water utility company said on Telegram that "due to power outages" water supply had been partially suspended and Ukrainian media outlets said a power plant in Dnipro was hit.

Regional governor Serhiy Lysak said energy infrastructure had been hit, but gave no further details. He said 10 drones were destroyed over the city.

Dnipro mayor Borys Filatov said authorities were closing schools in one neighbourhood and evacuating at least one hospital ahead of an expected cold snap that would strain the energy grid.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports. There was no immediate response from Russia's defence ministry to a request for comment.

Both Russia and Ukraine have increased their air attacks away from the front line in recent months, targeting each other's critical energy, military and transport infrastructure.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski, Nick Starkov and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Chris Reese, Stephen Coates and Lincoln Feast.)