Wildfire death toll reaches 59

Wildfire death toll reaches 59

26 August 2007

published by www.upi.com

ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 26 (UPI) — The death toll from wildfires raging through Greece has risen to 59 and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has called for a state of emergency.

Overnight Saturday and into Sunday, 42 blazes were contained, Greece’s ANSA News Agency reported.

The fires, which are suspected to be acts of arson, have been fanned by gale force winds and heat. Thousands of acres of crops, pasture land and forest have been destroyed, ANSA reported.

Karamanlis, while expressing grief for the dead, is also accusing political extremists of arson as a way to disrupt the Sept. 19 national elections, ANSA reported.

“So many fires sparked simultaneously in so many places is no coincidence,” Karamanlis said.

Several people are being questioned as arson suspects, ANSA reported.

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