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Afghan Air Raid Kills 51 in Pakistan Border Village

March 24, 1987|From Times Wire Services

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Afghan air force jets rocketed and bombed a Pakistani border village Monday, killing at least 51 people and injuring 105, the government said.

Government officials said the Soviet-made MIG jets twice attacked the village of Tera Mangal, killing and wounding Pakistani civilians and Afghan refugees. The village is three miles from the Afghan border and 155 miles west of Islamabad.

The raid demolished more than 60 homes and shops as well as a school, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The village is in the Kurram area, where U.S.-backed Afghan guerrilla groups battling the Soviet-supported Afghan government maintain bases.

Napalm Apparently Used

A government political officer said some of the bombs dropped in the attacks apparently contained napalm and many of the dead and injured had been burned.

The first wave of at least 10 jets attacked just after noon, killing 50 people and injuring 101, the government officials said. A second wave of fighters struck about four hours later, killing one person and injuring four, the officials said.

Many of the injured were in serious condition, the officials said. Some of the more severe cases had been evacuated to hospitals in the provincial capital of Peshawar, they said.

One of Worst Raids

Afghan warplanes have staged attacks on border villages since U.N.-mediated peace talks began three years ago. Based on official casualty figures from previous attacks, the first raid appeared to be one of the worst single raids ever by Afghanistan.

More than 70 people were killed last month in Afghan air attacks in the same area, according to the government.

Guerrillas have been fighting the Afghan government since a military coup ousted the monarchy in 1978. In December, 1979, the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan to shore up the Communist government. The latest round of peace talks opened in January but recessed this month, stalled again over a timetable for withdrawal of the estimated 115,000 Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

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