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Live mortar rounds found in grounds of US embassy

PHILIPPINE explosives experts have removed about 60 World War II mortar rounds found in the grounds of the US Embassy in Manila by construction workers, officials said yesterday.

The embassy was evacuated on Friday afternoon when the ordnance was found by workers digging in the grounds of the mission, said embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson.

By yesterday morning, experts had carefully removed 60 of the rusted and mud-covered rounds and transported them to a police base.

"They got everything that was found there," Thompson said, adding the US embassy grounds facing Manila Bay were used as the main headquarters of Japanese military forces from 1942 to 1945.

"It's not surprising to find those old bombs inside the compound, but we appreciate the quick response from Philippine authorities. They quickly and safely removed them."

Leopoldo Bataoil, Metro Manila police chief, said the ordnance was potentially lethal.

"Those bombs could still kill and create massive destruction," he said.


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