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Russian Region Mourns As Fire Deaths Reach 23

Flags fly at half-mast on top of the building of the government of the Republic of Khakasia during a day of mourning for fire victims in Abakan on April 14

Russia's Khakasia region has held a day of mourning as the death toll from fires that swept the province in southern Siberia rose to 23.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said on April 14 that more than 900 people in dozens of towns and villages were injured by the blazes, which were casued by the burning of dry leaves and spread fast by strong winds.

More than 1,500 houses burned down, leaving at least 5,000 people homeless in Khakasia.

Evacuations, casualties, and damage from widfires has been reported in other Siberian regions including Altai, Tyva, Zabaikalye, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk.

Meanwhile, China’s Xinhua news agency reported on April 14 that Siberian wildfires had crossed the Chinese border into the northern autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, razing 30 homes and burning vehicles and machinery in the city of Ergune.

No casualties were reported there, while firefighters continued to battle the blazes on April 14.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, dpa, and Xinhua