Indonesian President Joko Widodo walks on a burnt forest as firefighters spray water to extinguish the remaining flames in Riau province, Indonesia on Tuesday. The fires, which send choking smog across Malaysia and Singapore, have become an annual occurrence. [Laily Rachev, Indonesian Presidential Secretariat via AP Photo]

Indonesia is battling forest fires causing toxic haze across southeast Asia with aircraft, artificial rain and even prayer, President Joko Widodo said during a visit to one of the worst-affected areas on Tuesday.

Forest fires are raging on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, sending a choking smog across the region — including towards neighbours Malaysia and Singapore.

During a visit to Riau province in central Sumatra on Tuesday, Widodo said nearly 6,000 troops had been sent

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