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Retired general says Soviet incursion of Afghanistan justified

RIA Novosti

27/12/2007 17:59 KABUL, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - The invasion by Soviet troops of Afghanistan on December 25, 1979 was fully justified, a retired Afghan army general said on Thursday.

"The deployment of Soviet troops was an effective response to our request to the Soviet leadership due to the growing manifestation of terrorism and external threats to Afghanistan," said Maj. Gen. Hamid (Ret.), a former member of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

He said today terrorists "are having a field day" in Afghanistan, blaming the United States.

"The U.S. established such organizations in Afghanistan like al-Qaeda, and it was the U.S. that created Osama bin Laden, who is now terrorizing the entire world," he said.

The general said the U.S.S.R. had made a significant contribution to Afghanistan's economic development, helping build 73 large industrial plants, many of which were still working today.

The war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving Soviet forces supporting the Marxist (PDPA) government against the largely Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen insurgents. It began on December 25, 1979 and around 26,000 Soviet troops died in the conflict, over a million Afghan civilians are reported to have been killed in the war.

The war had a profound impact on the Soviet Union, and has been cited as one of the key factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter indicated that the Soviet incursion was "the most serious threat to peace since the Second World War." Carter later placed a trade embargo against the Soviet Union on shipments of food products such as grain.

The international diplomatic response was severe, ranging from stern warnings to a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

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