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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — City authorities will evacuate about 3,000 people from downtown Kaiserslautern on Thursday while experts defuse a World War II-era bomb found at the site of a shopping center under construction.

German authorities will be supported by American military police during the evacuations, said Michael Ufer, deputy chief of the Kaiserslautern fire department.

Thursday is a German holiday, when stores and offices, including the nearby city hall, will be closed.

The evacuation zone will extend about 330 yards around the site, where the shopping complex is being built, a city press release said.

Streets surrounding the area will be closed and military and civilian flights will be banned from flying over the city while the bomb is being defused, the press release said. However, flights to and from Ramstein Air Base would not be affected, said a spokesperson with the 86th Airlift Wing.

On Tuesday, the city delivered letters with instructions to those affected by the evacuation.

The 250-pound U.S. bomb was discovered by an explosives excavation expert assigned to the construction project because of the potential for finding unexploded ordnance from World WarII, according to the Rheinpfalz newspaper.

Sandra Zehnle, spokeswoman for the city of Kaiserslautern, said the bomb was not found by metal detectors because it was buried too deep and covered by a water pipe.

kloecknerm@estripes.osd.mil


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