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Death toll rises from wildfires in Greece

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People watch a wildfire in the town of Rafina, near Athens, on July 23, 2018. ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP

Death toll rises from wildfires in Greece

Fifty people have died and 170 have been injured in wildfires ravaging woodland and villages in the Athens region, as Greek authorities rush to evacuate residents and tourists stranded on beaches along the coast on Tuesday.

The death toll soared with a Red Cross official reporting the discovery of 26 bodies in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati.

The bodies were entwined and severely burnt, an AFP photographer at the scene said. They appeared to have been caught by the flames trying to reach the sea.

The authorities had previously announced 24 deaths and scores of injuries with the majority of casualties found in their homes or cars in Mati, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of the capital.

Of the injured, 11 people were in serious condition.

Port authorities told AFP they had found four bodies in the sea, including three women and a child who had apparently tried to escape the flames.

There were fears the toll may rise further, as people remained unaccounted for.

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