INTRODUCTION: As Soviet and Afghani regular forces continue to try and subdue rebel opposition in the country the capital Kabul appears calm and prosperous.Yet reports of a recent rocket attack on the Soviet embassy indicate that armed resistance to the Soviet-backed government of Babrak Karmal is continuing.
L SHOT Kabul city and valley. (2 SHOTS)
GV Street scenes around busy plaza square. (2 SHOTS)
GV Man in crowd, rifle slung on back.
GV Modern residential apartments built for Soviet technicians.
SV PULL BACK GV Soviet personnel walking through grounds and Russian looking out of apartment.
GV Building under construction. (2 SHOTS)
GV Street scene in Kabul.
GV Shops in busy street including Soviet Board of Friendship shop.(2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Various shops including food stores, carpets. (4 shots)
GV Pul-E-Khisti mosque in Kabul.
GV PAN INTERIOR AND SV Afghans assembling for prayers including one uniformed soldier. (3 SHOTS)
GV Man drawing hand cart down street.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: As Soviet and Afghani regular forces continue to try and subdue rebel opposition in the country the capital Kabul appears calm and prosperous.Yet reports of a recent rocket attack on the Soviet embassy indicate that armed resistance to the Soviet-backed government of Babrak Karmal is continuing.
SYNOPSIS: The capital of Afghanistan, set among valleys beginning to show to onset of winter, does not look particularly troubled.Many of Kabul's city centre streets are bustling with unhindered activity.
However some government party workers still feel more secure when armed.Many new residential apartment blocks have been erected since the great influx of Soviet advisors began in January 1980.Soviet technicians and military support staff for the 100,000 strong Soviet army in Afghanistan are similarly housed.
The last two years have seen a considerable construction boom.The Shahr-E-Nau, the new city, has become a modern shopping centre.Kabul also has a new trolley bus service built almost a year ago by Czech engineers.
New stores and supermarkets are well stocked with consumer goods imported from Western Europe and the Far East.New "Friendship Shops" have opened selling mainly low-priced products from the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies.Recently, however, some Kabul shopkeepers joined a general strike to show their displeasure with the government.The strike was called to protest at the decision to call up reservists under 35 for another period of military service.Many of the shops were made to reopen by youths loyal to the Karmal government and by police.
As in other Moslem countries Friday is a holiday in Afghanistan.Large crowds gather for Friday prayers at the Pul-E-Khisti mosque.Yet despite the appearance of calm, periodic outbursts of dissent, such as the strike by the shopkeepers of Kabul, continue to worry the government and their Soviet ally.The recent attempt to call up reservists also caused street protests in the capital.The conscription drive has been made necessary by the large-scale casualties and defections that the Afghani army has suffered.Since the state radio announced the new call up on the seventh of September trucks have toured Kabul making loudspeaker appeals to ex-servicemen to enlist.