Greek, Israeli aircraft help battle huge Cyprus forest fire

20 June 2016
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A top Cypriot fire official says 13 aircraft, including two Greek and three Israeli planes, are helping with efforts to extinguish a large forest fire that has so far scorched 15 square kilometers (5.8 sq. miles) of trees and wild growth.

Marcos Tragkolas told the Associated Press at least three villages were being evacuated Monday as a precautionary measure. He said one firefighter is in critical but stable condition after suffering head injuries when his vehicle overturned in the mountainous region southwest of the capital Nicosia.

Police said a 12-year-old boy is suspected of starting the fire with a lighter near the family’s holiday home.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a meeting of top fire service, police and Interior Ministry officials to coordinate fire-fighting efforts.

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