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Greek firefighters rescue 25 migrants trapped in forest

Athens, Sep 1 (Prensa Latina) Firefighters have rescued a group of 25 migrants trapped in a forest in north-eastern Greece as flames from a massive wildfire approached, authorities said.

The fire department said the group became trapped in the forest between two villages in the Evros region, near the border with Turkey.

No injuries were reported. There was no immediate information on the group’s nationalities.

The blaze, burning for a 14th day on Friday, has already been blamed for the deaths of 20 people whose bodies were found last week.

All are believed to have been migrants who had recently crossed the border. Greece’s Disaster Victim Identification Team has been tasked with identifying the remains.

A multinational force of more than 580 firefighters backed by six planes and two helicopters is battling the wildfire that began on August 19 and within days had joined with other blazes to form the largest single wildfire in a European Union country since records began in 2000.

The fire has burned homes and vast tracts of forest, scorching more than 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres).

Another persistent blaze has been burning for more than a week in a national park on the slopes of Mount Parnitha, on the fringes of Athens, with more than 160 firefighters trying to extinguish occasional flare-ups.

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