Recovery operation ends at bombed Kharkiv store, 19 dead, minister says

(Reuters) - Search and recovery teams have identified 19 bodies at a hardware store hit by Russian bombs last weekend in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Wednesday.

Klymenko said on the Telegram messaging app that recovery work was now complete. The dead in Saturday's attack included two minors.

"This was not a simple matter," Klymenko said. "The search for the dead was conducted round-the-clock in the ash with special equipment and they were promptly identified with the help of a DNA laboratory," he said.

Dogs were deployed and residents submitted 16 requests to investigate the fate of missing relatives.

Russia made no comment on the incident, but says it does not target civilian sites in the more than two-year-old war.

Kharkiv, which withstood a Russian advance in the early weeks of the conflict, has been increasingly targeted by strikes in recent weeks. A missile attack on Saturday targeted a city centre district, with 25 people injured.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Richard Chang)