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Berlin Authorities Arrest Suspect in 1986 Bombing of Disco

July 27, 1990

WEST BERLIN (AP) _ Authorities have arrested a suspect in the 1986 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque frequented by U.S. soldiers that led to an American air raid on Libya, officials said Friday.

A man, described only as being of an Arab nationality, was arrested Wednesday, said Werner Thronicker, a spokesman for the West Berlin Interior Ministry.

Authorities searched six apartments and a jail cell and also seized written materials they said could help the investigation, Thronicker said.

He refused to identify the man or release any other details.

The April 5, 1986, bombing of the La Belle discotheque, a popular spot for U.S. military personnel, killed two American soldiers and a Turkish woman. More than 200 people were injured.

U.S. officials blamed Libya for the attack.

Ten days later, U.S. jets bombed the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Tripoli. Several recent West German newspaper reports have said East Germany’s secret police were aware that the disco bombing was being planned and allowed it to be carried out.

West Germany’s Stern magazine reported July 10 that one of the suspects was already jailed on another criminal matter. It said the suspect was being used as a prosecution witness.

There have been reports that information on the case has come from former East German secret police files, which are believed to contain a treasure trove of information about terrorist activity.

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