500 mines to be cleared from Normandy beach
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A major 2-day operation began in Normandy on Thursday to clear an estimated 500 mines from the area around the Pointe du Hoc, scene of a decisive defeat for the Germans in the Battle of Pointe du Hoc in World War II.
The mine-clearing team is working both on the shore and at sea in an area 540 metres long and 50 metres deep, at Englesqueville-La-Percée in Calvados about 60 metres west of Caen.
A security zone of one kilometre has been set up around the area and around 20 residents were asked to leave the zone for their own safety.
A monument has been erected on the site in memory of the United States Army rangers who scaled the cliff on 6 June 1944 under a barrage of German guns.
The site is visited by nearly 500,000 visitors per year.