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Greece: World War II bomb defused after Thessaloniki evacuation

Greece: World War II bomb defused after Thessaloniki evacuation
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An unexploded World War Two bomb was safely defused on Sunday after one of Greece’s biggest peacetime evacuations.

The device, dropped during an air raid in the 1940s, was discovered underground in the country’s second city of Thessaloniki, during work at a petrol station.

Greece was occupied by Nazi Germany during the war.

Greek Army Spokesman Colonel Nikos Fanios told reporters that the US-made bomb weighed 125-kilos.

While it was corroded on the outside, he said, the detonation mechanism was still in very good condition and that was dangerous.

With a state of emergency declared, more than 70,000 residents living within a 2 km radius were asked to leave their homes. Shelter was provided in local gyms, stadiums and cafes.

As for the bomb, it was taken to a military shooting range to be destroyed once and for all.

“Phase two of the bomb removal operation was successfully completed. Citizens can safely return to their homes,” Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas later wrote on Twitter.