INTRODUCTION: In the week after the United Nations General Assembly called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, further film has reached the west from the embattled country.
HERAT AND WARDAK PROVINCES, AFGHANISTAN (VISNEWS AFGHANISTAN)
GV PAN & LV Fortifications with radar dish and flag flying (3 shots)
SV PAN & SV Mujahideen firing automatic weapons (2 shots)
SV & LV Pullet scarred buildings with Mujahideen standing on roof (2 shots)
LV Soviet helicopters fly over (2 shots)
GV & SV Shell shattered towns with damaged buildings and people walking past (4 shots)
SV Injured man on bed
GV PAN EXT Damaged buildings
GV Smoke pall across mountain
SV man pouring water from bucket over ashes on burnt field
GV Smoke with crops and trees in foreground
SV & CU Mujahideen walking through crop fields
LV & SV Destroyed armoured personnel carriers (2 shots)
CU Unexploded shell on ground
SV & CU Destroyed truck with debris along-side (2 shots)
SV Wreckage of armour
SV Partially destroyed tank
SV & CU Wrecked bulldozer (2 shots)
SV & CU Mujahideen posing on destroyed personnel carrier and tank (3 shots)
Background: INTRODUCTION: In the week after the United Nations General Assembly called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, further film has reached the west from the embattled country. It shows how the Mujahideen guerrillas have been able to keep up their armed resistance against the Soviet backed government in Kabul.
SYNOPSIS: In Herat Province, in the north-west of the country on the border with Iran, the regular Afghan army appears to be in complete control.
However the Moslem rebels of the Mujahideen, seen here firing their mainly captured automatic weapons, have frequently ambushed government convoys and installations in recent months. Many of the buildings in the province bear witness to their resistance.
The much depleted Afghan government forces have increasingly come to rely on their Soviet ally. Helicopter gunships have been used to try and flush cut the guerrillas from their hiding places. This tactic has been more successful in the lowland villages than in the mountains where the Mujahideen have been able to operate almost at will.
Many thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured since Soviet troops intervened in December 1979. Since that time an estimated 2.3 million others have sought refuge from the conflict in neighbouring Pakistan. Afghanistan's economy has suffered greatly with fields and factories deserted or destroyed in the fighting. Recently Afghan resistance leaders have accused the Soviet Union of using napalm and phosphorous bombs in those areas.
In Wardak Province, nearer the capital Kabul, the Mujahideen have launched a series of successful ambushes of Afghan and Soviet military convoys. The government of President Babrak Karmal has mounted several offensives to clear the valleys around the capital of the rebels. These have occasionally been overrun by the very forces they were sent to destroy.
These reverses have been very costly for the Afghan army. Much of their Soviet and Eastern European equipment has been lost to the guerrillas, Western diplomats say that the government forces have been depleted from 80,000 men to 30,000 during the fighting. Many of these have reportedly been captured by the rebels or defected to them. While its army is suffering such losses President Karmal's government is unlikely to heed the United Nations call for foreign troops to leave the country. So the fight will go on for the Mujahideen guerrillas.
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