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14:27, 10 September 2014 Wednesday

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Unexploded WWI mortar shell found in western Turkey
Unexploded WWI mortar shell found in western Turkey

The World War I-era mortar shell will be detonated in a safe region, Turkish officials said.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish villagers found an unexploded mortar shell believed to date from the World War I Gallipoli Campaign that was waged in Turkey’s Aegean coastal province of Canakkale.

The villagers immediately informed police after discovering the 29-inch (74 centimeter) shell in Kilitbahir village, which is on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Officials said they would detonate the shell in a safe place after expert examination.

Gallipoli, about 185 miles (300 kilometers) west-southwest of Istanbul, became a stage for the Gallipoli Campaign, known by Turks as the Battle of Canakkale, between April 25, 1915, and Jan. 9, 1916.

Britain and France wanted to secure their ally Russia, as the peninsula bordered the Canakkale (Dardanelles), a strait that led to and from what was then the Russian Empire. Their aim was to capture Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turks repelled a naval attack, and more than 100,000 men on both sides are thought to have died during the eight-month long offensive. When the land campaign also failed, the invading forces withdrew to Egypt.  



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