Coup in Kabul
Afghanistan President Hafizullah Amin was overthrown in a coup by Babrek Karmel, a former prime minister, Kabul Radio reported. The coup came as Soviet troops and equipment poured into the country to aid in an offensive against anti-communist rebels by the government, now reportedly overthrown. There was no word on Karmel’s position on Soviet-Afghanistan relations. The Iranian news agency, Pars, said Karmel announced he had taken power in a broadcast. In his message, Karmel promised “democratic freedoms for all the masses, the release of all political prisoners, and the creation of jobs for the unemployed.” A curfew until dawn was ordered and people urged to stay indoors. BBC, quoting sources in Washington, said street fighting was underway in Kabul between government forces and insurgents. US officials said reports from Kabul indicated “some involvement of Soviet military personnel” in street fighting in the capital. These officials said they did not yet have “solid information” but Soviet military personnel were reported to be moving about the city.
The Soviet Union has assured the Iranian ambassador in Moscow, Mohammed Mokri, that it “will not remain idle” if the US attempts “armed aggression” against Iran. This statement has been accompanied according to intelligence reports by Soviet troop movement in the area.
Riots in Hyderabad
Over 15 business and residential premises and a place of worship were set on fire in a fresh outbreak of communal violence in the old city area of Hyderabad. At least 20 persons were injured. The trouble was sparked off by a clash between workers of the Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen and the Janata Party. Police lobbed teargas shells to disperse a stone-throwing mob of about 1,000 persons. Thirty persons have so far been arrested and 29 cases of arson and looting registered.
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