Macedonia removes unexploded bombs from beauty spot

A pleasure boat pictured on Lake Ohrid in Macedonia in May 2008. Macedonian police announced Monday that a clean up operation of the Ohrid lake beauty spot in the south west of the country yielded six tonnes of explosives from several past conflicts. (AFP)

Macedonian police announced Monday that a clean up operation of the Ohrid lake beauty spot in the south west of the country yielded six tonnes of explosives from several past conflicts.

"There were unexploded mines, bombs and different munitions for the Balkans wars in the 1900s and World War I and World War II that were found on the bottom of Lake Ohrid and posed a potential danger to the population," the Macedonian interior ministry said in a statement.

The de-mining operation started a months ago with US aid, the ministry added. Last year a similar operation netted 7.3 tonnes of explosives.

"This time sophisticated techniques were used to detect dangerous materials that rested in the deepest parts of the lake," the ministry explained.

The 358-square-kilometre (138-square-mile) lake is the deepest in the Balkans at 288 metres (945 feet). It is a UNESCO world heritage site and Macedonia's main tourist attraction.

The lake straddles the border between Macedonia and Albania and has a unique ecosystem with more than 200 endemic species.

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