Updated 6.15pm - Bathers at the sandy beach in the inner part of Marsaxlokk had to be evacuated after a suspected World War Two bomb was found on Monday morning.

Members of the public told Times of Malta that beach goers were told to leave by the Armed Forces of Malta after the district police were called. 

A spokesperson for the police confirmed that a report of potential explosives, was made at around 11.15am.

The AFM Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit arrived on site and after confirming that it was an unexploded device, safely removed it in an operation lasting several hours.  

Old bombs are intermittently found around Malta and are typically reported and removed without issue. Last year a 15-year old boy found WW2 era bombs near the Għajn Tuffieħa barracks and took them home. The AFM subsequently evacuated the street in Santa Lucija where the family lived until the devices were disposed of safely. 

During the Second World War, Marsaxlokk Bay was the base for the Fleet Air Arm with a base at Kalafrana. 

According to historians, 3,300 air raids were carried out over Malta, with an estimated 16,600 tons of bombs dropped. Some 1,579 civilians were killed during the span of the war and some 1,800 left badly injured. 

Malta was the most heavily-bombed area per square mile in the world at the time.

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