Greece investigates arson in wild fires

Greek political extremists may have set wildfires that have killed at least 44 people and destroyed dozens of villages, the prime minister said.

Greece investigates arson in wild fires
Greek political extremists may have set wildfires that have killed at least 44 people and destroyed dozens of villages, the prime minister said.

"So many fires sparked simultaneously in so many places is no coincidence," Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis alleged, vowing to punish those responsible.

Karamanlis said the fires may have been set to disrupt campaigning for the Sept. 16 national elections.

A new fire erupted Saturday above Mount Hymettus, near Athens International Airport, forcing officials to close a highway when billowing smoke covered area, CNN reported Sunday.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise as hundreds of people are hospitalized in southern Greece, where most of the fires have been concentrated, CNN reported. The fires have been made worse by a heat wave and intense winds.

Greece's ruling party said it has suspended campaigning as a sign of respect for fire victims and flags on government buildings were being flown at half staff.

UPI
Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2007, 17:16
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