In Afghanistan, President Noor Mohammed Tarakki, has been replaced as leader of the country by his Prime Minister, Hafizullah Amin.
In Afghanistan, President Noor Mohammed Tarakki, has been replaced as leader of the country by his Prime Minister, Hafizullah Amin. The announcement was made by Kabul Radio on Sunday (September 16). Reports from the capital indicate that President Tarakki may have been killed in fighting that took place inside the Presidential palace on Saturday. In a 20 minute radio broadcast after his take over Mr Amin announced the country was being placed under the collective rule of the People's Democratic party and Revolutionary Council. He said Afghanistan would no longer be governed by one person.
SYNOPSIS: Kabul, capital of the mountainous country of 17 million that borders Iran, Pakistan and the Soviet Union, has now witnessed ??? coups in the past six year. The first, in 1973 brought to an end a monarchy, replaced with a republic.
Eighteen months ago came the coup which brought President Tarakki to power. It was carried out by units from the air force and army, who toppled the five year old government of President Mohammed Daoud. He was killed in the fighting in which it has been claimed thousands died. President Tarakki maintained the number was under 100. The Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the new, pro-communist governments, two days after the coup. Relations between the two countries has been close. Three weeks after the coup, a number of aid agreements were signed. Moscow later denied reports it had inspired the Afghan revolution.
In December last year, President Tarakki underlined the close links with Moscow when he signed a friendship treaty with the Soviet leader, President Leonid Brezhnev. Reports at the time indicated thousands of Russian advisers were helping Afghanistan to consolidate the new regime; earlier this year economic and military aid was increased.
Recently though Moscow's support was said to have waned slightly. President Tarakki had to deal with armed opposition from Moslem tribesmen. The fighting saw a number of Soviet advisers killed. He also ordered a purge of a staunch pro-Moscow group. In May came reports of a rift between President Tarakki and his hardline first minister, Hafizullah Amin, the man who is now in charge of the country. Mr Amin is regarded as being responsible for the changes taken to transform the country into a Marxist state. He was regarded as a strongman behind President Tarakki, and said to be responsible for the mass imprisonment and executions of opponents. He is also the main target of the Moslem insurgents who describe him as anti-Islamic. There's been recent reports of a split in the Afghanistan's government President Tarakki was said to be concerned about popular dislike of the government while Mr Amin was reported to be against any compromise.