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Afghan Army is down to 20,000, defector says

A brigadier from Afghanistan's Defense Ministry has defected to Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported Wednesday.

It identified the official as Brig. Engineer Abdul Mannan, a director general in the ministry. According to the radio, the brigadier said the Afghan Army was down to 20,000 men, from an estimated 80,000 before the 1978 Communist takeover, and many soldiers had deserted, joined antigovernment guerrillas, or been killed fighting them. The official also reportedly said the Soviet troops in Afghanistan had now realized they were fighting an ''aimless war'' because Afghans were determined to resist them.

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