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Germany finds WWII bomb, 54,000 evacuated

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BERLIN In southern Germany, 54,000 people were forced to evacuate from their homes yesterday.

A British bomb, believed to have come from an air raid during World War II, was found in the city of Augsburg last Tuesday, and it led to the biggest mobilisation in Germany yesterday - around 900 police officers - since the war itself.

The 1.8-tonne explosive had been found during work at a construction site but authorities had planned to defuse the bomb around midday yesterday. They thought there would be less traffic due to people staying with relatives.

The defusing could take up to five hours, according to the authorities, who estimate that the evacuees will not be able to return home before the evening.

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are still found buried on German territory, vestiges of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany. - AFP