By Field R., Dennis P.

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28 On 13 August, rockets destroyed the city’s central medical stores and three hospitals received direct hits, killing over 30 patients. 29 With no end to the fighting in sight, the director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Stocker, announced on 7 October that the ICRC would airlift emergency medical supplies into Kabul, adding that, though the operation would relieve pressure on the hospitals, it could not possibly meet Kabul’s other humanitarian needs. No relief food had been delivered since June.

It was, probably, never consciously in his mind as his missiles hammered at the fabric of Kabul, but 45,000 Kabulis testified to the thesis with their lives, and several hundred thousand more departed the scene, too broken to remain. 18 The refugee population of Sar Shahi, the largest camp, was so highly qualified that it was referred to as the ‘University of Kabul in exile’. There were 500 experienced secondary school teachers, along with scores of doctors, laboratory technicians, health workers, senior civil servants, former army officers and engineers, the product of decades of Soviet investment in Afghanistan’s human resources.

8 Massoud left Peshawar three years later to raise the revolt against the Taraki regime in the Panjshir valley, not to return for a decade. The enmity erupted again in 1982, after Massoud agreed a temporary ceasefire with the Soviets to allow time for his fighters to regroup. 9 But their quarrel went beyond personalities or tribal differences to encapsulate their wholly contradictory readings of Afghanistan’s post-Soviet future. While Zia held the purse-strings of the jihad, Pakistan’s Afghan policy would always reflect its own priorities.

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American Civil War Fortifications (2). Land and Field Fortifications by Field R., Dennis P.


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