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U.S. Sought Soviet Help in Berlin

From a Times Staff Writer

At least two days before the April 5 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, the United States took the highly unusual step of informing Moscow that a Libyan terrorist attack was expected somewhere in Berlin and asking the Soviet Union to help protect Americans there, The Times has learned.

The U.S. Embassy in East Berlin was given additional protection, a State Department official said, by either the East Germans or the Soviets.

But a senior Reagan Administration official said the United States also called on the Kremlin to prevent Libyans in East Berlin from carrying out a terrorist act in either East or West Berlin.

“They obviously did not do so,” this official said, referring to the attack on the La Belle discotheque, which left two dead, including an American soldier, and injured more than 200.

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It was not clear whether the U.S. message preceded withdrawal of Soviet warships that had been tailing two U.S. carrier battle groups in the Mediterreanean but pulled away some days before the air strike on Libya early Tuesday.

The Soviets are already being criticized by Libya on this matter, the official said.


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