Barcelona: Mystery bomb discovery sparks beach evacuation | News | DW | 25.08.2019
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Barcelona: Mystery bomb discovery sparks beach evacuation

Spanish police cleared a long stretch of the Sant Sebastia beach after a bomb, likely dating from the Spanish Civil War, was found at sea. Navy specialists will deactivate the device on Monday.

A 1.1 meters long (3.6-foot) explosive device found at the bottom of the sea prompted the partial evacuation of a busy Barcelona beach on Sunday.

Local media showed images of the cordoned-off stretch of Sant Sebastia, one of the northeastern Spanish cities most popular beaches.

Police established a security perimeter of 250 meters (273 yards) on the sand, which was earlier packed with sun worshippers.

The unidentified device is believed to be a bomb dating from the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War.

It was found by an off-duty police diver who happened to be swimming in the area, a spokeswoman for the country's Civil Guard said.

Read more: Spanish Franco-era 'stolen babies' campaigner finds her family

The device is located at a depth of 3 meters (10 feet) and 25 meters (80 feet) from the shore. 

Device to be made safe

Officials said they would not be able to confirm the identity of the device until Monday, when navy bomb disposal experts arrive to carry out a controlled explosion.

The Civil Guard spokeswoman said the closure would remain in place until the area was made safe.

At 1,100 meters, Sant Sebastia is Barcelona's longest beach. On the far end sits the six-star hotel known as the Sail, which opened in 2009 and has quickly become one of the city's most identifiable landmarks.

The Spanish Civil War is often referred to as the dress rehearsal for World War II. Those loyal to the democratically elected Second Spanish Republic fought against conservative and Catholic nationalists led by military General Francisco Franco.

The opening shots of the conflict were fired in Barcelona — the Republic's capital city — in July 1936 during a coup attempt.

Although the coup failed, three years later the city fell to the Nationalist Army and Franco became Spain's military dictator until his death in 1975.

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Spanish city of Barcelona goes green

mm/tj (AP, Reuters)

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