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Wildfire kills at least 50 near Athens, families flee to beaches

GREECE: A wildfire killed at least 50 people and injured more than 150 as it swept through a small resort town near Athens, with huge flames trapping families with children as they fled. The fire which hit Mati, 29 km (18 miles) east of the capital, late Monday afternoon was by far the country’s worst since flames devastated the southern Peloponnese peninsula in August 2007, killing dozens. People scrambled to the sea as the blaze closed in close to the shore. Hundreds were rescued by passing boats but others found their…

For Athens Muslims, promised mosque still hard to believe

ATHENS, Greece: After 17 years of delay, construction has finally begun on the first official mosque for Athens, but Muslims in the city are not getting their hopes up just yet. “I’ve been hearing people talk about this for too long — I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Nasralla Abed, a Greek-Palestinian translator. He had come to pray in a basement in Athens’ Neos Kosmos neighborhood, one of dozens of unofficial mosques around the city which is home to about 300,000 Muslims. A discreet sign marked the entrance to…