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Greece Wildfire Kills 18 Suspected Asylum Seekers In Dadia Region

The fires have also destroyed a cemetery, a school, and several homes in other Greek areas.

Eighteen suspected asylum seekers have been found dead in a forest in northeastern Greece where a wildfire had been raging, according to the fire department.

The bodies were found near the national park of Dadia, a region bordering Turkey that is a frequent entry point for migrants and refugees, fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios said in a televised address on Tuesday.

As no local residents had been reported missing “the possibility that they are people who entered our country illegally is under investigation”, he said.

The latest deaths pushed the overall toll from this week’s fires to 20, after another suspected asylum seeker was found dead in the area on Monday. An elderly shepherd had also been found dead north of Athens on Monday.

Hot, dry and windy conditions have seen dozens of wildfires break out across Greece, with the most severe entering its fourth day and encroaching on the northeastern port city of Alexandroupolis.

“It’s a similar situation to July,” a fire department spokeswoman told the AFP news agency, referring to a wave in several parts of the country that left five people dead.

Six countries were sending help via the European Union’s civil protection mechanism, the fire department said.

About 120 firefighters from Cyprus, Romania, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany and Serbia will pitch in, fire department spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis told state TV ERT.

A school, several homes and a cemetery were damaged in two villages near Alexandroupolis, where more than 200 firefighters were battling the flames, supported by four airplanes and three helicopters.

Dozens more houses were damaged by another wildfire in the Kavala region, local authorities said.


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