Cologne - About 20,000 people were evacuated on Wednesday in the west German city of Cologne after a 1 000kg bomb dating back to World War II was discovered in the city's north-east.
The inhabitants of a retirement home and a home for disabled people had to be evacuated, and the zoo and local schools were closed after the unexploded ordinance was found during maintenance work on an underground heating system.
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The bomb is expected to be defused in the afternoon. In the meantime, road, rail, boat and air traffic in the region have been blocked.
Finding unexploded Nazi-era bombs is an almost regular occurence in Germany, where millions of tons of bombs were dropped towards the end of World War II by Allied and Soviet Forces.