German soldiers and work crews on Friday cleared away one of the last remnants of the Berlin Wall that divided the city for more than 28 years.

All that remains of 29-mile barrier that ran through the city is a two-block stretch now covered with murals. Other parts will be turned into memorials to those who died trying to escape to the West.Many sections of the wall that separated West Berlin from the former East Germany are still standing and will be taken down next year.

On Friday, heavy-equipment operators hoisted the concrete panels at the former dividing line between East Berlin's Pankow district and Wedding in West Berlin. Spray-painted on one of the panels was the German word "Liebe," meaning love.

The Berlin Wall opened amid chaotic celebrations Nov. 9, 1989, and was a prelude to the toppling of the East German Communist regime. The two Germanys united on Oct. 3.

East Germany, with Soviet backing, hastily began erecting the wall on Aug. 13, 1961, to halt the flow of refugees to the West.