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Indonesian president asks four nations for help to fight forest fires

The Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, right, stands shrouded in smog in Singapore, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.
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The Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, right, stands shrouded in smog in Singapore, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.

Indonesia's president said on Thursday that he had asked Singapore, Russia, Malaysia and Japan for help to put out the forest fires that have caused choking smoke to drift across the region.

"We hope this will speed up the process because fires on peat land is different from regular forest fires," President Joko Widodo said in a statement released on the Cabinet Secretary's website.

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Indonesia has come under growing pressure in the past few weeks to contain the annual haze crisis, which is caused by slash-and-burn agriculture on Sumatra island and its part of Borneo island.