South-east Turkey fire kills 12 and injures dozens

Firefighters work to put out a blaze near Diyabakir, Turkey, 21 June
The interior minister blamed the fire on stubble burning [EPA]

A huge wildfire in Kurdish parts of south-eastern Turkey has killed at least 12 people.

Announcing the death toll on X, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 78 people had also been wounded when flames spread through Diyarbakir and Mardin provinces.

Hundreds of animals have died in the fire, which began on Thursday and raged into Friday.

Temperatures in much of Turkey have reached over 40C (104F) in the past week, leaving forest and scrubland tinder-dry.

An investigation into the cause of the latest blaze is under way.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya blamed it on "stubble burning", the practice of intentionally setting fire to crop residue.

It is not the first time the southern region has been devastated by fire - in the summer of 2021 flames ravaged coastal resorts and claimed nine lives.

Veterinarians tends to a wounded donkey after a fire near Diyarbakir, 21 June
Vets tended to animals caught in the fire [EPA]