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Germany Marks 45th Anniversary of Start of Berlin Wall

Germany Sunday marked the 45th anniversary of the start of construction of the Berlin Wall - an icon of the Cold War.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit laid wreaths at one of the few sections of the wall still standing.

They also attended a memorial service for the more than 100 people who died trying to flee communist East Berlin for the West. East German border guards had orders to shoot to kill anyone they spotted trying to escape.

East German authorities threw up a barbed wire fence on August 13, 1961 that was to evolve into the imposing concrete wall that stood until East German residents began tearing it down in 1989.

New research by historians says 125 people died trying to get across the Berlin Wall. But some experts say the death toll is much higher.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.