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Major fire breaks out northeast of Athens

world Updated: Aug 22, 2009 15:19 IST

AP
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Greek authorities say a major wildfire fanned by gale-force winds is burning unchecked northeast of Athens, Greek authorities say.Major fire breaks out northeast of Athens

Firefighters say the fire, near Marathon, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Athens, broke out in the early hours of Saturday and is still developing. Nine special airplanes, five helicopters and 35 ground vehicles are trying to contain the fire, which is burning forest, brush and farmland.

Witnesses say the fire is now racing toward the town of Marathon. Flames have reached houses in the nearby villages of Grammatiko and Varnavas, but no casualties have been reported as of Saturday noon (0900 GMT).

TV images showed missiles and ammunition being evacuated from a nearby army base.

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