AFGHANISTAN: The Bear Descends on the Lion

Soviets mount their harshest attack yet against tenacious rebels

Ever since Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan on a cold day more than four years ago, the treacherous terrain of the Panjshir Valley has served local rebels as both sanctuary and symbol. The determined Mujahedin guerrillas have been nurtured by grain from its verdant hills, water from its mountain streams and shelter within caves in the shadow of its snow-capped peaks. Above all, the 70-mile-long valley has been the hideout and headquarters of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic 30-year-old Mujahedin leader who has united...

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