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Fewer East Germans escape into Bavaria

The number of East Germans escaping to Bavaria dropped by almost half last year despite removal of SM-70 automatic scatter guns from some border fences, according to West German border guards. The boxlike devices, attached to border fences, sprayed shrapnel pellets when activated by a trip wire.

The Bavarian border patrol said 13 people evaded land mines, scatter guns, razor-sharp fences, and armed guards last year to reach the state in southern Germany, compared with 25 in 1982.

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The Bavarian report said East Germany appeared to be building up barriers further inside East German territory to stop would-be escapers from reaching the final border fence.

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