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East German Soldier Apparently Shot In Escape Effort

June 26, 1986

BERLIN (AP) _ West Berlin police said today an East German soldier apparently tried to escape across the Berlin Wall into West Berlin and was shot.

Police spokesman Hans-Heiner Salbrecht said witnesses in the West Berlin section of Frohnau, in the northern part of the divided city, heard shots Wednesday night, then saw a uniformed soldier sprawled on the ground near the wall in East Berlin.

The witnesses said they watched East German guards carry away the wounded man, ″who was still making movements,″ and place him in a truck that then was driven away, Salbrecht said.

He said West Berlin police assume the man was trying flee Communist East Berlin and was struck by bullets, but could not confirm that.

The head of the Allied Command in West Berlin, Paul Cavarrot, issued a statement saying, ″We condemm this renewed use of brutal force that endangers the lives of humans.″

Cavarrot also is commander of the French troops in West Berlin. The Allied Command is the supreme legal authority in West Berlin, made up of those parts of the city that were occupied by British, American and French troops after World War II. East Berlin was the Russian zone of occupation.

East Germans have continued trying to flee to the Western sector of the city despite their government’s construction of a wall between the East and West in August 1961.

At least 73 people have been killed trying to cross the wall, but more than 4,900 have succeeded in escaping to the West, according to West Berlin police.

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