Three French medical organisations operating relief missions in rebel-held parts of Afghanistan have accused the Soviet occupation forces of committing atrocities against the rebels and the civilian population.
SCU ZOOM INTO CU Dr. Claude Malhuret of Medecins Sans Frontieres speaking
TRANSCRIPT: MALHURET: "What we have seen of this war in Afghanistan during the last two years made us think that there have been three phases in this war. In the first stage, the Soviet army and the Afghan army have launched ground attacks against the villages and in the (indistint) valleys, penetrating in these valleys, burning the villages, destroying some of them, burning crops and warehouses, and then going back to their garrisons. The rebels have suffered heavy losses even though the Afghan Mujahideen have very few weapons. They have suffered heavy losses and the second phase began in the middle of last year, the middle of 1981, which was a stage of aerial attacks by helicopters and warplanes and also the launching of hundreds of thousands of mines, either camouflaged mines, which are green when they're thrown in grass areas, which are grey when they're thrown in rocky areas. People do not see them, walk on them and they are wounded by those mines. There is another type of mine which are mines disguised to look like pencils of to look like toys and then children pick them up and tear their flesh apart. We do not understand, I am speaking as a doctor, I would say that we do not understand how a man can have conceived such weapons which are designed to tear apart the flesh of children. But the next stage, which is happening now, is a law of terror happening in Afghanistan, all those attacks have become much more systematic than before in the last months and quite recently, three of our hospitals have been bombed. They have been very selectively pinpointed, the houses around have not been hit, they have been destroyed by helicopters and obviously the Soviet Army, Red army want us to leave Afghanistan, they don't want us (indistinct) any more in Afghanistan. But people can see that we are in Afghanistan to stay, and every time there is a renewed attack against us, we will speak more loudly in protest. This is how we are seeing the war that is happening now in Afghanistan."
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Background: Three French medical organisations operating relief missions in rebel-held parts of Afghanistan have accused the Soviet occupation forces of committing atrocities against the rebels and the civilian population. The Paris-based Medecins Sans Frontieres, Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI) and Medecins du Monde (MDM) are the only Western humanitarian groups to work in Afghanistan on a permanent basis. After the bombing last November of three French-run hospitals in the Panjshir valley north of Kabul, medical staff decided publicly to denounce the Russians and explain their own position to the media. "The Russians have been conducting a reign of terror", said Dr. Claude Malhuret, executive director of MSF, in a television interview on Tuesday (23 March).