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US says Soviets plan extensive Afghan bombing

The Soviet Union may be considering large-scale aerial bombings of Afghanistan as part of a spring offensive there, Reagan administration officials said Tuesday.

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They based their opinion on evidence from intelligence sources that the Soviet Union moved 36 medium-range bombers, support aircraft, and bombs to airfields near its border with Afghanistan last week.

They cautioned that a Soviet intent to bomb Afghan targets was only an informed guess and that Moscow's action could be aimed at intimidating Pakistan, which has been backing Afghan rebels, or related to the Iran-Iraq war.

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