Russia sends more aircraft to fight Israel fire

4th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday ordered more aircraft to be sent to Israel, after emergency services sent three aircraft as part of international efforts to fight a massive fire.

"The president ordered further reinforcements and aid to be sent to Israel," the Kremlin said in a statement, after Medvedev met emergency minister Sergei Shoigu.

Medvedev spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday evening to offer further aid, the Kremlin said in a statement on its web site.

An IL-76 plane capable of dropping 42,000 litres (9,200 gallons) of water at a single pass and a transport helicopter capable of dropping 15,000 litres were en route Saturday morning, an emergency ministry statement said.

Two Russian planes, another Il-76 and a Be-200 amphibious jet, were already in Israel the ministry said.

At least 41 people have died and more than 17,000 have been evacuated from their homes as a huge fire has ripped through northern Israel, with flames reaching the southern outskirts of Haifa, Israel's third-largest city.

© 2010 AFP

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