INTRODUCTION: In Afghanistan, the Soviet-backed government of President Babrak Karmal continues to face fierce resistance from the rebels of the Mujahideen.
LOGAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN (VISNEWS)
GV Logar Province, helicopters fly over village (2 shots)
GV Helicopters bombing village (2 shots)
SV Armoured vehicles and tank pass along road (3 shots)
GV TILT UP Helicopter flies overhead and fires rocket at rebel positions (2 shots)
GV Rebel looks at burnt-out vehicles on road
SV Unexploded bomb in trench
GV Burnt-out car and tank transporter. Rebels look on (6 shots)
SV Afghan rebels and villagers chanting
GV & SV Burning trucks and vehicles (4 shots)
Background: INTRODUCTION: In Afghanistan, the Soviet-backed government of President Babrak Karmal continues to face fierce resistance from the rebels of the Mujahideen. While the Afghan regular forces have managed to restrict rebel activity in the capital Kabul they have been less successful in surrounding rural areas.
SYNOPSIS: This is Logar Province about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Kabul. The Afghan Army and their Soviet allies patrol the area by helicopter to monitor rebel activity. Villagers here have become used to the frequent helicopter sorties and being bombed from the air. The Afghan authorities regard control of the air as strategically vital in their battles with the Mujahideen. These aerial attacks are not always successful as many of the guerrillas operate from less-accessable mountainous areas.
The Afghan Army and Soviet army units control many of the roads and lowland villages. However, convoys of military vehicles such as this have been vulnerable to rebel ambush.
The Afghan Army's answer has been to try to rout out the guerrilla positions by attack from the air.
By relying on the greater sophistication of their weaponry, the Kabul authorities hope to keep down the casualties incurred by the regular army. However, much of the military equipment that they have received as aid from the Soviet Union has been destroyed or captured by the rebels. Apart from a high casualty rate, the Afghan Army have suffered from large-scale defections. So great have been the number of desertions that Kabul has been forced to recall Afghanis who have already completed their national service.
Despite conscription and the presence of up to 100,000 Soviet troops in the country, the Mujahideen are still able to attack and destroy military convoys. The Moslem rebels have captured numerous sophisticated weapons since the Soviet troops first entered Afghanistan 21 months ago. With these weapons, and those brought in through neighbouring Pakistan, the Mujahideen have consistently been able to strike at government targets.
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