Turkey battles wildfires amid claims of sabotage
ISTANBUL: Turkey is under the shock of unprecedented forest fires that killed four people and injured scores of others in its coastal touristic southern provinces, while authorities are investigating claims of sabotage.
Over 70 wildfires have been reported since Wednesday across the country. Scorching heat and strong winds have fanned the fires in different regions as 4,000 firefighters battled the blazes, aided by helicopters and planes, local media have reported.
Most of the blazes have been brought under control, but several fires were still raging on Saturday in the southwest and south of the country for a fourth consecutive day.
Around 100 firefighters and over 80 civilians were injured, mostly from smoke inhalation, emergency authorities have announced.
Many residential areas, villages, and tourism facilities have been evacuated because of the fires, which also caused many farm and wild animals to perish.
Officials launched an investigation into suspicions that the fires that broke out Wednesday in four locations in Manavgat, a Mediterranean tourist hotspot in Antalya province, were the result of arson. Forest fires are regular occurrences in summer in Turkey. However, eyewitnesses have reported wildfires erupting at several different points simultaneously, drawing suspicion.-Xinhua
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