War of A Thousand Skirmishes

Two TIME reporters look at both sides of the Afghan conflict

Since Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan in December 1979, an estimated 500,000 people have been killed in a war that has pitted Soviet and Afghan military units against anti-Communist mujahedin guerrillas. The Soviets say they want to get out, but five years of talks in Geneva have yielded no results. The bloody conflict has largely taken place away from public attention, but two reporters succeeded in visiting the two sides of the conflict for TIME. Robert Schultheis spent two weeks in the field with the mujahedin, and Ken Olsen last week toured the battle zone with Afghan government troops. Their reports:


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