An unexploded British bomb from World War Two forced 54,000 people out of their homes in Germany on Christmas Day, the country’s biggest such evacuation since the end of hostilities.
The huge operation on Sunday in the southern city of Augsburg took 11 hours, involved 900 police officers and it ended successfully around 6pm, local authorities announced.
The 1.8-tonne explosive was found on Tuesday during work at a construction site in the Bavarian city, but authorities waited until Sunday to coordinate the logistics necessary to make it safe.
More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried on German land, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.
Augsburg, the third-largest city in Bavaria, was targeted several times during the war.
A 1,500-metre exclusion zone was created for the operation in case the bomb exploded while engineers were trying to deactivate it and sandbags were set up all around.
Two experts defused the explosive, which was described as a “mega bomb” according to police spokesman Manfred Gottschalk cited by DPA news agency.
Police checked house by house to ensure they were clear of residents before giving the go ahead.