July 26 (UPI) -- Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was confronted by an angry crowd Thursday as he toured areas devastated by the wildfires near Athens.
At least 83 people have died so far as a result of the fires, and dozens remain missing.
"You let people burn to death. You let us in God's mercy," said Katerina Samioti, whose house was destroyed.
"You left us alone," another said.
"No one came ... there was no plan, there was no protection, nothing ... people were left swimming for hours without help."
Some complained that people were told to escape by diving into the sea, which many were unable to reach.
Kammenos told BBC News illegal construction in the areas contributed to the fires, and that building materials in wooded areas blocked escape routes and closed roads.
"This is a crime from the past," Kammenos said. "This coast of Athens, all these properties, the majority are without a license, and they have occupied the coast without rules."
Authorities said hundreds have been injured by the flames, including a number of children. More than 70 people have been hospitalized and 1,500 homes have been damaged.
Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of mourning to honor the dead.