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Israel Sends Firefighting Planes to Help Battle Cyprus Blaze

The Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday evening ordered Israeli firefighting aircraft to assist Cyprus authorities struggling to put out a massive wildfire raging on the island’s coast.

“Efforts are currently underway to organize the dispatch of a rescue team as well as additional firefighting aircraft,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

According to a report in the Cyprus Mail, the emergency assistance from Israel came at the request of Nicosia, after local firefighters were unable to control the blaze that had burned five square kilometers of vegetation in the Paphos region by Saturday afternoon.

Fire department spokesman Leonidas Leonidou told the paper strong winds were hampering firefighting efforts, and the blaze would likely continue into Saturday night.

No injuries have been reported, and Leonidou said no area homes were in immediate danger.

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