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Thousands evacuated from downtown Berlin as unexploded WWII bomb found

Thousands of people were evacuated from downtown Berlin after an unexploded WWII bomb was discovered near the Jewish Museum. It was the second WWII bomb to be discovered in the area in a week.

For the second time in less than one week, police evacuated thousands of people on Friday from an inner-city section of Berlin after an unexploded World War II bomb was discovered. Bomb experts safely defused the 250 kilogram (550 pound) US bomb while police officers cleared the area.

About 11,000 residents and workers in local businesses were ordered to leave the evacuation zone in Kreuzberg out of fear that a detonation could damage buildings and blow out windows within a large radius. Some 93 elderly people were taken to social centers on board buses.

Both Berlin bombs were found while doing construction work to create a conference and education facility for the nearby Jewish Museum, a popular tourist attraction. The Jewish Museum had to close on Sunday due to the discovery of the first bomb.

Watch video 04:52

Jewish history tour at Berlin's Jewish Museum

Other cities in Germany this week also had to evacuate due to WWII bombs. In the northern city of Ludwigshafen, a bomb underneath a chemical plant ignited but did not explode after a construction drill hit it. There was no damage but the bomb is to be dug out by robots because of the danger to humans.

Likewise, in the western city of Koblenz, 5,000 people had to be evacuated on Sunday after a bomb was discovered a mere four meters (yards) underground at a school. The bomb was also safely defused.

WWII bombs from US and Soviet air forces have been discovered in construction sites around Germany, even 70 years after the war.

rs/jm (AP, dpa)

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