Rainfall uncovers 50 shells and grenades near WWI Flemish battlefield
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    Rainfall uncovers 50 shells and grenades near WWI Flemish battlefield

    Police warned that despite their age, the ammunition could still pose a danger to the population. Credit: Politiezone Arro Ieper/Facebook

    The rainy weather has uncovered scores of shells and grenades near Ypres, with police saying nearly dozens of findings were reported in the space of a week.

    Around 50 devices were discovered last week in a yard in Zonnebeke, a municipality some 10 kilometres east of Ypres, the scene of several major WWI battles.

    Additionally, local police said that residents had reported nearly 20 findings in only a week, a spike attributed to the weather, with police saying that days of rainfall helped dig out the explosives.

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    Amid the rise in the discoveries, authorities advised residents to avoid handling the devices and to report them immediately to the police.

    “Often they gather all the shells, grenades and cartridges they found together and then only report them at the end of the day,” Commissioner Glenn Verdru said. “But that’s not a good idea.”

    “Even after 100 years, they still pose a danger,” the local police said, adding that the DOVO mining unit was charged with carrying out an immediate intervention to dispose of the devices.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times