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Albanian armed forces deactivate 74 WWII shells



(Xinhua/NAN) Albania’s Armed Forces have deactivated 74 shells from the second World War (WWII) in a village around 60 km northwest of the capital Tirana, the country’s Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said on Monday.

In a video message posted on the social network Facebook, Xhacka said that explosive ordinance disposal specialists of the Albanian Armed Forces found and deactivated the 150 mm caliber shells, each weighing around 50 kilogram, in the village of Manati in the Lezha region.

“The armed forces prevented a tragedy in Manati village. Our specialists removed from the inhabited area 74 shells (150 mm caliber) each with the weight of 50 kg,” Xhacka wrote.

According to the Defense Ministry’s preliminary analysis, the shells date back to WWII.

“So far this year the Albanian Armed Forces have conducted 75 operations around the country, destroying about 16 tons of dangerous ammunition,” Xhacka added.

It will be recalled that a World War II air bomb was found four days ago in the centre of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH’s) capital Sarajevo and was destroyed the same day.

According to the Director of Federal Department of Civilian Protection, (FUCZ) Fahrudin Solak, an English-made air bomb, weighing 500 kilograms, was found 5 meters in the ground by construction workers during the digging process.

Solak explained that the bomb was dropped on Nov. 7, 8, 9 or 10, back in 1944, when the site was used as stock by Germans, after which it was bombed.

For the last 75 years, the bomb has been representing a threat for some 17,000 people living in Novi Grad in Sarajevo.

After the site was blocked for traffic and residents living in proximity were evacuated, FUCZ members reacted swiftly and immediately deactivated the bomb’s lighter.

“When we were preparing the bomb for the transport, we determined that the lighter was in such a condition that it had to be removed immediately,” Solak said.

He added that the lighter was successfully removed and the detonator destroyed.

“All the elements that could lead to an explosion of the bomb were removed,” Solak stated.

Back in 2013, a WWII air bomb weighing 227 kilograms was found and neutralized in the nearby site. (Xinhua/NAN)


Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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