Belgrade - An unexploded bomb of “great destructivepower” dating back to Wold War 2 was found in downtown Belgrade and removed on Sunday for a controlled detonation, the government said.

The one-ton German bomb containing 620kg of explosives was found during construction works in the capital's central area of Dorcol, forcing the authorities to evacuate 20 inhabitants from a nearby building.

“The bomb had a great destruction power and if it had exploded it would have blown up the entire area,” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told reporters.

The device was typical of the type dropped by Heinkel He 111 bombers during World War 2, Dacic said.

The Nazi airforce heavily bombed Belgrade on April 6, 1941, at the beginning of a four-year occupation.

A truck under heavy security escort took the bomb to a military base in north-western Serbia where it was to be destroyed in a controlled explosion, the Beta news agency reported.

Sapa-AFP