No one feared death in anti-Soviet uprising
KABUL (PAN): No Kabul resident was afraid of death On Feb. 22, 1980, when all citizens rose in revolt against the Russian invaders and attacked columns of tanks, a member of that popular uprising said on Tuesday.
The former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979 and the last Russian soldier left the landlocked country in February 1989, ending a nine-year occupation.
Jan Mohammad, 54, recalled almost all Kabul residents staged the uprising against the Soviet-installed regime 57 days after the invasion. On the night of Feb. 23, Chandawal residents climbed their rooftops and shouted "Allah-o-Akbar" (God is Great).
The revolt spread to other parts of the city like jungle fire, as unarmed people chanted slogans against the Russian army and government, said Mohammad, who joined the rebellion in the Dehna Bagh area.
The men pelted stones at tanks and soldiers, who opened discriminate fire at the people. "From the Dehna Bagh to Deh Afghanan, I saw the road littered with at least 20 bodies."
Although an exact casualty is yet to be ascertained, 4,000 people were reportedly were killed and many more arrested.
Habibullah Rafi, a member of the National Academy of Science who was among the detainees, called Feb. 22 a day of great importance in the history of Afghanistan. He said people from all walks of life participated in the revolt against communists.
"It was purely a public uprising involving no foreigner," Rafi said. "We were put in Pul-i-Charkhi prison, where I saw inmates treated inhumanely."
A resident of the Khairkhana locality, Mohammad Anwar Shoaib, said the Kabulis rose in revolt because their religion was under threat. "The revolt marked the beginning of a popular liberation war."
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