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France

Six thousand evacuated as WWII bomb defused near Paris

media Renault's headquarters, still at Boulogne-Billancourt Reuters

About 6,000 people were evacuated from the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt Sunday morning so that bomb squad experts could defuse a 500-kilogramme bomb dropped during World War II.

The evacuation, which started at the break of day, ended at 10.40am, apart from three elderly residents. Police combed the whole area, staircase by staircase, to make sure that no-one was left in the 400-metre danger zone.

Experts started defusing the bomb about half an hour later and were expected to finish the delicate operation by 1pm.

The bomb, which was dropped by allied planes during the war, was found on 27 January on a building site on ground which used to house part of the massive factories of carmaker Renault.

Renault factories were bombed several times in 1942 and 1943 because it produced motors for vehicles used by German occupying forces.They closed in 1992.

The local council laid on drinks for the displaced residents at the local mairie and showings of Pierre Richard’s comedy Richard were organised at two local cinema
 

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