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Visiting France

French nudist beaches evacuated as mine detonated

media Tourists and residents evacuated in Sérignan 29 September, 2011 www.ville-serignan.fr/Andreas Alberti

About 2,500 people, many of them tourists, were evacuated on Thursday after a diver found an unexploded mine near to nudist beaches on the Mediterranean coast.

Mine-clearing divers destroyed the device at about 1.15 pm Thursday but campsites and beaches around Sérignan, in the Hérault region, had been cleared during the morning in case the operation went wrong.

Interactive map of France

The area is home to some of France’s nudist beaches, including one at Sérignan itself.

The mine, which weighed about 200 kilos, appeared to date from World War II and was discovered by a freediver 400 metres from the beach at Sérignan.

The mine-clearance team, which is part of the French navy, dragged it to 10 kilometres off the coast before detonating it, according to the Mediterranean Maritime Prefecture.

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