updated 5/27/2007 7:49:33 AM ET 2007-05-27T11:49:33

A flash flood swept away a group of hikers alongside a river in southern Greece, killing at least five people, police said Sunday. Three others were missing.

The dead were identified as four women and a man, all Greek nationals.

Police said the incident occurred late Saturday as a group of 18 Greek hikers, including two guides, were walking along the banks of the Lousios River, near the village of Dimitsana in the western Peloponnese, about 110 miles southwest of Athens.

A flash flood, caused by heavy rains, struck the group as they were trying to cross the river and swept eight people away, police said. Rescuers were combing the area to locate the three missing hikers.

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