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Thursday, September 16, 1999 Published at 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK

World: Europe

First baby born in Chernobyl

A Ukrainian woman in Chernobyl, the site of the worlds worst-ever nuclear accident, has given birth to the town's first baby since the disaster 13 years ago.

The Itar-Tass news agency said the baby girl, named Maria, was born last month after her parents decided to keep the pregnancy secret for fear of being forced to move away from what is still a highly radioactive zone.

The baby was delivered by her father; doctors say she is in good health. The zone around the Chernobyl power plant was evacuated after the accident; most of the people who have since returned to live there are elderly.

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