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Syria Executes 24 People over Deadly Wildfires

Syria Executes 24 People over Deadly Wildfires

Thursday, 21 October, 2021 - 14:00
A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 10, 2020 shows a fire devouring a forest in the mountainous region of Bludan near the capital Damascus. (AFP)

Syria executed 24 people Thursday after charging them with igniting wildfires last year that left three people dead and burnt thousands of hectares (acres) of forests, the Justice Ministry said.

The ministry called the 24 who were executed, “criminals who carried out terrorist attacks that led to deaths and damage to infrastructure and public property.” It said 11 others were sentenced to life in prison in the same case.

It said nine others, including five juveniles, received prison sentences. It said the prison sentences for the juveniles ranged between 10 to 12 years.

The ministry said in late 2020, authorities detained dozens of people who confessed that they began planning to ignite fires starting in August last year. They started fires in September that affected 280 towns and villages and damaged 370 homes, the ministry added.

It said a total of 24,000 hectares (59,300 acres) of forests and plantation were burnt in the fires.

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