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WWII-era bomb in Germany forces evacuation

BERLIN -- Officials in Germany's western city of Koblenz say some 45,000 residents have to be evacuated as officials try to defuse a World War II era bomb discovered in the Rhine River.

City officials said yesterday the massive British 1.8-ton bomb will be defused early today, requiring all residents within a radius of about 1.2 miles from the bomb site to leave their homes for the day.

Officials say seven nursing homes, two hospitals and a prison are also being evacuated.

Train and road traffic in the area, some 130 kilometers northwest of Frankfurt, will come to a halt.

The British bomb was found last week alongside a 275-pound bomb dropped there by U.S. forces during the war, after Rhine's water level fell due to lack of rain.

-- AP

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