Greek army experts defuse WWII bomb, thousands evacuated
Military personnels of a Greek military bomb disposal squad stand at the site of a World War II bomb in suburb of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Feb. 12, 2017, ahead of an operation to defuse the bomb. Nearly 72,000 residents in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki were evacuated Sunday morning ahead of a massive operation to defuse a WWII bomb, local authorities have said. (Xinhua/Vasilis Ververidis)
ATHENS, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Army experts have completed the first stage of a massive operation to defuse and remove a WWII bomb in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, the regional governor announced Sunday.
Greek army experts had managed to defuse the detonator by 13:00 local time (1100 GMT), Apostolos Tzitzikostas told national broadcaster ERT, adding that within the next few hours the bomb will be transferred to a nearby army base Askos-Profitis for controlled explosion.
"There is still risk. Citizens should stay off the sealed zone until the entire operation is concluded," he stressed.