Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of Bolzano to defuse a World War II bomb found during construction

MILAN -- Italian authorities evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of Bolzano on Sunday to defuse a World War II bomb found during construction.

Three experts defused the 500-pound American bomb during a three-hour operation that also forced 60,000 people to stay in their homes and closed sporting complexes and churches, the news agency ANSA reported.

The bomb was found close to the city's central cathedral and not far from the train station — the likely wartime target — during excavation work for a new shopping center.

The online news site Neue Suedtiroler Tageszeitung said after being defused, the bomb was brought to a secure site nearby for a controlled explosion.