Former East German Premier Willi Stoph and three other officials of the defunct Communist state have been arrested in connection with shoot-to-kill orders at the Berlin Wall, officials said Tuesday.

Justice Senator Jutta Limbach said the four - all onetime members of East Germany's National Defense Council - were arrested late Monday and early Tuesday.In addition to Stoph and former Defense Minister Heinz Kessler, she identified those arrested as Fritz Strelitz and Hans Albrecht.

Limbach's statement said the four men have been under investigation on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with shoot-to-kill orders issued in 1974 by former East German leader Erich Honecker that led to the deaths of as many as 200 people trying to escape East Germany.