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The boy, five, found the World War Two hand grenade in his kindergarten, which is located on a former barracks site near Bremen, northwest Germany. The outdoor area of the day care centre has been closed until further notice.
The surroundings of the “An der Beverbäke” kindergarten, a former barracks site, was searched for ammunition back when it was converted into a residential area in 2014.
“Why the hand grenade, which was buried under a layer of sand on the centre’s grounds, remained undiscovered is unclear,” the city council said in a statement.
The fact that the barracks site was used by the German Armed Forces until 2007 but the grenade is far older, from the Second War, adds mystery to the case.
The only certainty is that the find is a British make – a Mills No 36, a city spokesman told German paper t-online.
The Mills No. 36 grenade was developed in May 1918, at the end of the First World War, at the Mills munitions factory in Birmingham.
It is referred to as the Mills Bomb or pineapple, due to its serrated structure.
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A version of the Mills No.5, the first modern fragmentation grenade of its kind, it was adapted to be used in Western Asia toward the end of the First World War.
It remained in service in the British Army until the 1960s.
Upon his dangerous find, the five-year-old thought he had discovered a special stone and thus put it in his pocket and took it home.
The grenade, which was removed by the explosive ordnance disposal service, alarmed the young boy’s father, who reportedly quickly informed the police.
Until investigators from a specialist company exhaustively search the area for further WWII remnants, the kindergarten’s children will have to play inside.
Additional reporting Monika Pallenberg
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