WWII bomb found near petrol station defused

The bomb was found at a depth of 5 metres near a petrol station in a densely populated area not far from the northern city’s busy port.

A street in Athens, Greece.

“The bomb’s detonator has been removed,” a police spokesman said as the 153-kilogram explosive was defused.

A special unit of the army had completed the task by midday. It will now be taken to a safe area outside the city.

Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas told broadcasters that the bomb’s discovery had prompted the biggest peacetime evacuation in Greece’s history.

Residents within a 1.9-kilometre radius of the site were advised to vacate the area.

More than 70,000 people had to leave their homes for several hours over the weekend, but would be able to return by Sunday afternoon.

Where did the bomb come from? There were no nationwide bombings in Greece during World War II.

However, some historians in Thessaloniki recall a bombardment of the port by the British at the end of 1943.

Thessaloniki was at that point occupied by Adolf Hitler’s forces, and the port was key for military supplies. Because of poor visibility, several bombs were dropped in inhabited areas instead of the port.

But there were other accounts of a bombardment by the Allies in September 1944.

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