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2 freed Soviet soldiers ask to stay in Swizterland

Two Soviet soldiers captured by guerrillas in Afghanistan were freed from internment in Switzerland Sunday but decided not to return to the Soviet Union, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said.

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The two, held in Switzerland for two years, were given one-year Swiss residency permits.

The Soviet ambassador in Berne protested that Swiss authorities had influenced the pair to stay in Switzerland, but this was denied by a Foreign Ministry spokesman. The spokesman said the two had not applied for asylum but could renew their residency permits annually if they wished.

A third Soviet soldier also freed Sunday left Zurich on a Soviet Aeroflot flight to Moscow.