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Wartime bomb defused after shutting down Cologne business district

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A busy business district in central Cologne became an exclusion zone on Tuesday as bomb disposal experts disarmed a wartime ordinance in the western German city. A statement from the city authorities said `the ordinance no longer poses a threat’ following the successful operation. Around 10,000 employees had been forced to leave their places of work ahead of the bomb disarmament, a city spokeswoman said. A 500-metre exclusion zone was set up around the site where the bomb was found by construction workers on Monday evening in the district of Deutz. The security measures have been lifted, although the statement warned commuters to expect further travel delays. A travel advisory posted by Germany’s Deutsche Bahn railway operator said services had returned to normal, after inter-city trains had been prevented from stopping at the Koeln Messe/Deutz station, an important junction for long-distance and local services. Train travel over the city centre’s Hohenzollern Bridge was also halted while the bomb disarmament was under way. A section of the Rhine River was closed to boats and some flights were diverted to avoid the nearby Cologne/Bonn Airport. The discovery of bombs dating back to the final months of World War II is common in Germany and there are often evacuations to ensure their safe disposal.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Isaac Aregbesola

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