President Reagan addressed Americans in West Berlin on Friday at Tempelhof Airport, not Tegel Airport, as reported yesterday.
Adding a mean footnote to President Reagan's visit here today, about 2,000 militant demonstrators fought scattered street battles with police marking some of the most brutal fighting this troubled city has seen recently.
Protesters overturned cars, gutted a furniture store and sent hails of cobblestones toward lines of helmeted police who fought back with water cannons and tear gas.
Police reported arresting 280 people. No number was given for those injured on either side.
The brawling contrasted sharply with the warm reception given Reagan by about 25,000 Berliners invited to the baroque Charlottenburger Palace where the president spoke this morning.
It also clashed with the peaceful image of yesterday's gigantic demonstration in Bonn and a calm rally here last night that drew 35,000 people protesting the buildup of nuclear weapons in Europe.
Due to security concerns, Reagan today avoided the personal contact with Berliners that former presidents Carter and Kennedy managed. The president limited his handshaking to U.S. servicemen and their families who greeted him at West Berlin's Tegel Airport.
Today's rally clearly wore the mark of the hard-core left. The call for it was issued by part of the city's Alternative List group which hoped to use Reagan's presence to register a harsh anti-American, anti-NATO message.
Police officials reported today that members of an anarchistic faction called the Autonomous Groups arrived in West Berlin this week from West Germany intent on creating a disturbance that would mar the picture of Reagan in this Western outpost.
Massing at the city's Nollendorf Square at about the time Reagan touched down at Tegel, a number of the demonstrators looked well-prepared for battle. They had on masks, wore thick gloves for tossing stones, and carried eye drop solutions to counter the effect of tear gas.
The gathering violated a controversial ban imposed by city authorities prohibiting demonstrations during Reagan's three-hour stay in West Berlin. Police squads tried to fence the protesters in the square using rings of barbed wire. Reporters on the scene said fighting began when some demonstrators charged a police unit.
Tensions between the authorities and protest groups had been heightened earlier in the week when West Berlin police launched a large-scale clean-up campaign to squelch the volume of anti-American propaganda that was being distributed prior to Reagan's arrival.
Police raided the headquarters of the Alternative List party Wednesday, confiscating a tape cassette that contained recordings of war noises which the party had intended to play over loudspeakers at today's rally.
In a further action this week, some policemen were reported to have stopped at city bookstalls to tear off the orange "Reagan go home" stickers which the leftwing magazine Konkret printed on its cover. This was done on the grounds that the stickers contravened an allied regulation forbidding defamation of an allied head of state. The United States, Britain and France are officially the ruling authorities here, although the city's administration is carried out by an elected civilian senate.