The World

A West German noncommissioned army officer in a sensitive position apparently defected to East Germany with his family, the West German news service DPA reported. The agency, in a dispatch attributed to reliable sources, said that the 25-year-old soldier disappeared from his unit in Munich on Dec. 28. A Defense Ministry spokesman in Bonn confirmed that the unnamed soldier and his family are missing but added that it is too early to determine if espionage and defection are involved.

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