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50,000 evacuated in Germany over unexploded WWII bombs

German police evacuate 50,000 people from the northern city of Hanover in one of the country’s largest post-war operations to defuse World War II era bombs.

Residents in a densely populated part of the city were ordered to leave their homes for the operation, planned since mid-April, to remove several recently discovered unexploded bombs.

Authorities had expected to remove as many as five bombs but it emerged that there were fewer. Experts have extracted three British bombs — two of which were defused successfully. The third bomb requires special equipment to be made safe.

A police officer helps an old woman of the district Vahrenwald in Hanover, central Germany, during the evacuation, May 7, 2017. (AFP Photo/DPA/Peter Steffen/Germany OUT)
A police officer helps an old woman of the district Vahrenwald in Hanover, central Germany, during the evacuation, May 7, 2017. (AFP Photo/DPA/Peter Steffen/Germany OUT)

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried on German land, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.

The biggest such evacuation took place last Christmas, when an unexploded British bomb forced 54,000 people out of their homes in the southern city of Augsburg.

— AFP

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