News In Brief

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.

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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