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Deadly wild fires hit holiday resorts near Athens in Greece

PUBLISHED: 08:09 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 24 July 2018

A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens Picture: AP PHOTO/THANASSIS STAVRAKIS

A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens Picture: AP PHOTO/THANASSIS STAVRAKIS

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Wild fires in Greece have claimed the lives of at least 24 people and injured more than 100.

The fires, the deadliest to hit the country in more than a decade, have been fanned by high winds as they rip through holiday resorts near Athens.

Of at least 104 people injured, 69 needed hospital treatment and 11 were in a serious condition, officials said.

It is feared the death toll could rise to around 50 after rescue crews reported finding the bodies of more than 20 people huddled closely together near a beach north-east of Athens.

Greece has sought international help through the EU as the fires on either side of Athens left lines of cars torched, charred farms and forests, and sent hundreds of people racing to beaches to be evacuated by navy vessels, yachts and fishing boats.

Winds reached 50mph as authorities deployed the country’s entire fleet of water-dropping planes and helicopters to give holidaymakers time to escape.

The fire posed no immediate threat to Greece’s famed ancient monuments, but as it moved inland children’s summer camps and holiday homes were hastily abandoned.

Greek Fire Service officials issued public pleas for residents in fire-affected areas to comply with evacuation orders and not stay on in an effort trying to save their homes.

Have you been affected by the fires? Were you hoping to travel to Greece on your holidays? Let us know at newsroom@archant.co.uk

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