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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Zakynthos wildfires planned, claims Greek justice minister

A number of wildfires are raging across Greece (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)
A number of wildfires are raging across Greece (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)

Greek authorities believe a series of fires raging on several fronts on the western Greek island of Zakynthos were started deliberately.

The country's fire service said there are "well-founded suspicions of foul play", after five fires broke out late on Saturday and early on Sunday, followed by another three later on Sunday morning.

Justice minister Stavros Kontonis, who is also the local member of parliament, said of the multiple blazes while visiting the island: "This is planned."

The fire service said 10 of the 12 fires burning on Zakynthos are still unchecked, with high winds making it difficult to control the flames. A fire brigade commander said they have consumed mostly forests and olive groves so far.

A total of 53 wildfires broke out in Greece on Saturday and more did on Sunday, including on a beach resort near Athens.

Press Association

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