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Fireman dies battling Cyprus forest fires

21 June 2016 11:41

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A Cypriot fireman has died in Cyprus while battling forest fires that have scorched some 15 square kilometers in the country.

The firefighter, Andreas Sophocleous, was wounded when his truck overturned at Solea, at the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, and later died in the hospital, police said Monday. Two other firemen were also wounded in the accident.

The fires broke out in the mountain village of Evrychou in the Troodos region on Sunday. A 12-year-old boy is suspected of having ignited the fires with a lighter.

Attempts to extinguish the fires reportedly continue.

Cypriot Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said 16 aircraft were used to fight the “unprecedented” fires, the highest number ever deployed to battle a fire in the country.

More than 300 firefighters and 56 vehicles are also battling the blazes at the Troodos foothills.

British and Greek aircraft have also been deployed to help battle the fires, according to officials.

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