The death toll of Russia's Oct. 5 missile strike against the village of Hroza in Kharkiv Oblast has risen to 53, Serhii Bolvinov, the head of the investigative department of the regional police, reported on Oct. 10.
"Taking into account still unidentified body parts and reports about missing persons, the final death toll may increase," Bolvinov said at a press briefing, as cited by Suspiline news outlet.
According to Bolvinov, five people still remain missing after a Russian Iskander ballistic missile hit a local cafe during a memorial service for a fallen soldier who was being reburied in the village.
The soldier's relatives, including his widow, son, and mother, were among the 53 people killed in the attack that wiped out over half of the village's population.
Criminologists have examined 135 body fragments retrieved from the scene, and the DNA testing is still ongoing, the police official told reporters.
"From the first minute (after the strike), despite tough moral conditions, we have been collecting the remains of those killed in the village of Hroza and identifying these people. Mutilated bodies had to be collected piece by piece," Bolvinov added.