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The Afghan front

IT is hardly a secret to the world community that a particularly nasty war continues to be fought in Afghanistan between the Soviet-backed Kabul regime and the Afghan mujahideen -- the so-called ``freedom fighters.'' Thus, it should come as no surprise that Washington has just approved special new funding for the Afghan rebels, reportedly some $250 million. The ``secret'' funds will in part be used to supply new weapons to the rebels, who found themselves caught up in a major Soviet offensive this past summer.

Disclosure of the congressional approval for the additional ``secret'' funds pointedly reminds the world community that the war goes on -- and that more than 100,000 Soviet troops are still in Afghanistan, following their 1979 invasion.

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Disclosure of the funds also serves to underscore the continuing American resolve in backing the rebels. Still, a diplomatic solution must not be ruled out. Another round of UN-backed talks regarding Afghanistan is scheduled for later this year, probably in December. The brutal Afghan war has gone on too long.

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