Large-scale evacuation underway in Hannover, Germany, after the discovery of several unexploded, Second World War-era bombs

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Up to 50,000 residents in the German city of Hannover are being temporarily evacuated due to the discovery of five Second World War-era explosive devices near heavily populated areas.

The evacuation commenced at 9.00am local time, and bomb disposal teams moved in shortly afterwards. Residents may not be allowed back into their homes until Monday morning.

This is the second largest such operation in Germany in recent times. Up to 54,000 residents in the city of Augsburg had to be evacuated on Christmas Eve 2016, after a large, British-made UXB was discovered during construction work.

Hannover suffered heavy bombardment by the Allies during Second World War, particularly on October 8-9, 1943, when hundreds of thousands of homes were flattened in just under 48 hours.

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