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Progress Made in Fighting Fires in Greece


Fire officials in Greece say progress is being made in fighting deadly wildfires sweeping the country but many fires are not yet contained.

With firefighting efforts concentrated Wednesday on the island of Evia, north of Athens, and on the Peloponnese Peninsula, Greek officials say there is no longer imminent danger of the fires spreading.

The fires have claimed at least 63 lives and burned numerous villages and thousands of hectares of forest.

Public criticism over the government's handling of the disaster has been intense. Thousands of people, many dressed in black, held a silent protest Wednesday in central Athens.

Police have charged six people with deliberately setting fires and are offering a reward of $1.4 million for information leading to more arrests.

At the Vatican today, Pope Benedict prayed for the victims of the fires and condemned the "criminal actions" of those who were responsible.

Greek firefighters, joined by colleagues from Israel and Europe, continue to use water-dropping planes and helicopters to battle the flames.

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