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Fire Rages Near Jerusalem, Villages Evacuated

Fire Rages Near Jerusalem, Villages Evacuated

Thursday, 10 June, 2021 - 07:00
Cars drive on a highway as smoke billows from a forest fire in the area of the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem, on June 9, 2021. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

A forest fire on the outskirts of Jerusalem led to villages being evacuated Wednesday before firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control.

The highway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv was shut down along with the train line that connects the two main cities, police said, AFP reported.

They later said the blaze, some 15 kilometers (10 miles) northwest of Jerusalem, had largely been brought under control after ripping through 265 hectares (650 acres) of forest, though small fires were still burning.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, which spread through woods close to populated areas and sent dark smoke into the sky over the hills outside Jerusalem.

Several villages were evacuated, police said, but residents were able to return to their homes during the evening.

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