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GERMAN SOLDIERS JOIN FIGHT TO HOLD BACK ODER RIVER

Soldiers helped homeowners and volunteers pile more sandbags on dikes today in a struggle to hold back the raging Oder River, swollen to record levels by weeks of rain.

Skies cleared over eastern Germany for the first time in days, but the danger grew nonetheless.

A helicopter dumped sand to patch a weakening dike south of Frankfurt an der Oder, a city of 80,000 people 60 miles east of Berlin.

Two weeks of flooding, described as the worst in centuries, have killed 100 people in neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic.

Some 140,000 Poles have been forced from their homes.

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