Afghan towns reported wiped out
A Swedish foreign aid official has accused the Soviet Union of wiping out five villages in Afghanistan, Monitor contributor Chris Mosey writes.
Carl Schonmeyer of the Swedish International Development Authority, which coordinates state aid to the third world, said Wednesday the five villages in Logar Province, south of Kabul, were destroyed three weeks ago because they had given support to Muslim guerrillas.
He said the villages were first bombed by MIG jets. Then helicopter gunships were sent in, shooting indiscriminately. Ground forces followed.
''First came Afghani troops, followed by Soviet units so there could be no retreat,'' he said. ''The Afghanis shot everything living left in the villages: people, donkeys, and chickens. Then they plundered and destroyed everything of value that was left, burned crops, and spoiled water supplies.''
He said news of the destruction of the villages came from several independent sources among newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan in Peshawar, Pakistan. Mr. Schonmeyer, who worked for the United Nations in Afghanistan for nearly three years, said the total population of the villages would have been 5,000 to 10,000 people. He said a French medical team had visited the area and was expected to return soon with eyewitness accounts of the raids.
A Norwegian free-lance journalist, Stale Gundhus, is missing and presumed killed in Afghanistan, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said July Tuesday. Mr. Gundhus was believed to be traveling with a guerrilla unit when it was attacked by Soviet troops.