Report Says CIA Airlifting Texas Mules To Afghan Guerrillas
LONDON (AP) _ The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is believed to be flying Texas mules to the Pakistani city of Peshawar near the border with Afghanistan for use by Afghan guerrillas, a newspaper reported.
The Observer, a liberal British weekly, said in its Sunday edition a shortage of pack animals in the area following an epidemic earlier this year is the reason for the CIA airlift.
Afghan guerrillas have been fighting the pro-Soviet government’s forces and Soviet troops in Afghanistan since 1979.
The Observer quoted unidentified diplomatic sources in Islamabad, the capital, as saying that new arms supplies carried into Afghanistan by the mules include 120mm long-range mortars and mine-clearing equipment.
The report described the mortars as ″the most sophisticated weapons to reach the guerrillas since (U.S.-made) Stinger missiles were delivered to them in October 1986.″
It said the purpose of the new consignments was reported to be to improve the ability of the guerrillas to lay siege to Soviet garrisons inside Afghanistan.
The report gave no other details and did not say who had supplied the reported consignments of mortars and mine-clearing equipment or their country of manufacture.