City evacuates 45,000 to defuse massive WWII bomb

BERLIN (AP) -- 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 Saturday the massive British 1.8 ton bomb will be defused early Sunday, requiring all residents within a radius of about 2 kilometers (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 WWII, after Rhine's water level fell due to lack of rain.

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