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Soviets bomb village, kill several hundred Afghans

Several hundred people were killed earlier this month in a five-day Soviet bombardment of an Afghan village, according to Western diplomatic

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sources in Islamabad.

The bombing of Istalif by air and ground forces was part of a stepped-up campaign against anticommunist Muslim guerrillas in the Shomali Valley north of Kabul, which is vital for control of the road toward the Soviet Union, the sources said.

Quoting reports from Kabul embassies, they said half the houses and most of the bazaar area in Istalif were flattened by the attack, in which Muslim rebels also knocked out several Soviet armored vehicles.

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