14:33 GMT05 August 2020
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    Estimates say that over 1,6 mln of tonnes of unexploded World War II ordnance remains on the bottom of the Baltic and the North Seas near Germany, according to environmental watchdog Naturschutzbund (NABU).

    According to NABU, the Bundeswehr (German army) detonated 42 WWII mines during its preparations for the August 2019 NATO drills, dubbed "Northern Coasts". Every explosion is reported to have killed every living thing within a radius оf 10-30 meters.

    After German forces cleared the maritime areas, it was noted that at least 18 porpoises were found dead. The exact number, however, of killed or injured sea mammals remains unknown and could be higher as these creatures have a lengthy breeding period, NABU stressed in the statement.

    Another issue is the unexploded ammunition lying dormant underwater. NABU warns that gradually corroding shells emit dangerous toxic chemicals that poison the environment and are harmful to people, who eat the fish caught from the vast maritime areas.

    NABU has urged German authorities to address the urgent issue.


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    porpoise, drills, NATO, mines, WWII, Germany, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Bundeswehr
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