On the seventh day of Saur month 1357 – it corresponds to the 27th of April 1978 according to the translation of the Afghan calendar – a military coup took place in Kabul. The communique, issued by the new government, stated: “The armed uprising committed by the will of Afghanistan labour People under the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan by patriotic officers and brave soldiers being the starting point of the national democratic revolution, has opened a new page in the history of our beloved and glorious Motherland.” No one then knew yet in Afghanistan and in the whole world that the Saur (April) Revolution would become the original of continuous series of wars and conflicts that cannot calm down already for more than 40 years.
If someone looked back at the second half of the 1970s, it would be hard not to see that Afghanistan was in the condition of the badly deepening crises.
The country was firmly fixed among the poorest world states. More than 40% of Afghan people lived in the conditions of poverty, 92% of male and 95% female were illiterate. At the same time, the annual population growth was 2.5% and the country economy badly fell behind the birth rate. For instance, if in 1957 the agriculture provided 183 kg of wheat for every Afghan and it was only 151 kg two decades later. An average land area, treated by a peasant's yard, reduced from 0.5 to 0.35 hectare during the same period and appeared three times less the optimal size for Afghan conditions. The major part of population needs was met by the import – 47% of grain were brought from the USA, the USSR and Pakistan. Under the shortage conditions, the prices were constantly growing on flour and bread that made the most favorable conditions for the situation instability inside the country.
After the coup in 1973, when Mohammed Daoud toppled his cousin King Zahir Shah and abolished the monarchy, there was not a single year without the liquidation of a regular anti-government plot. The first of them was headed by the former Prime Minister Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal, who was arrested in September 1973. In the same year’s December, the former Head of the State Security Service of Afghanistan General Habibullah Rahman’s plot was revealed, that was supported by the conservative clergy layers. In June 1974, they defeated “Muslim Youth” group that was supplied with money and weapons from the Arab States and in July 1975 in Panjshir, the troops suppressed the uprising of Islamists, the sufficient part of which had been trained in Pakistan. In December 1976, the Head of the Artillery Department of the Defense Ministry General Seyid Mir Ahmad Shah’s plot was preempted, who planned to establish the authority of “progressive Islam” and uproot the influence of Communists.
The Communists really were an important force in the country. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) split up into two factions almost immediately after its creation in 1965 — “Khalq” (“People”) and “Parcham” (“Banner”) – under the pressure of the Soviet Comrades it could cope with disagreements and restore the unity in 1977. The party consisted of 17 800 members and there were more than 2000 officers and underofficers among them (conscript soldiers were not the objects of the PDPA membership). No wonder, taking into account that 3700 Afghan officers got their education in the USSR – that was around one third of the whole officer Corps of the country, while in the 1960s and 1970s 487 Afghan officers studied in the USA.
The allied to the PDPA “The United front of the Afghanistan Communists” also numbered up to 600 members and it united pilots and technical specialists of the Air Forces under the leadership of Colonel Abdul Qadir. However, the faction contradictions were not fully exterminated in the PDPA and it was obviously seen by the cooperation with the Afghan Army – military organizations of “Khalq” and “Parcham” strongly avoided the integration and went on acting on their own.
Ten days before the D-day
In the evening of April 17, 1978 in Kabul, two unknown men assassinated a member of the PDPA Central Committee Mir Akbar Khyber – the leader of the “Parcham” clandestine military organization. He was shot on the street roadway not far from the center of the Afghan capital on his way home from a meeting with other party members.
Mir Akbar Khyber was 53 years old. He was born in a poor peasant family, graduated from The Military lyceum and The Infantry faculty of Harbi Pohantoon Military University in Kabul, he taught English in the Police Academy. During his revolution activities, he was imprisoned for six years and exiled for two years in Paktia Province. Khyber was considered a prominent propagandist, well known and popular among the militaries, students and the workers of the Kabul industry enterprises.
The police put the blame on the Islamic Party of Afghanistan, however Khyber’s supporters charged special services with the happened crime – the 83rd Branch of the Afghan gendarmerie that acted under the cover of SAVAK – the Ministry of Domestic security of Iran. Even later one started saying that Hafizullah Amin stood behind the assassination — the direct Khyber’s rival in the secret fight for the control over the Army and also a member of the PDPA Central Committee, and the head of “Khalq” Military Department. In the beginning of 1980, two Alemyar brothers, which belonged to the circle of Amin’s confidants, were accused of Khyber’s assassination and later they were executed.
Eight days before the D-day
Up to 30 000 people came to Khyber’s funerals on the call of PDPA Leadership. The gathered carried red flags and posters «Down with arbitrariness!», «Long live democracy!», «Mir Akbar Khyber fell the death of a hero for people’s case!». Crowds of thousands with red tulips accompanied the mourning procession from the largest Kabul mosque Pul-e Khishti to the Righteous Martyrs cemetery. Demonstrations and meetings became the visible expression of PDPA mobilization potential, they went on for two days more and afterwards they were proclaimed by the Afghanistan Government to be illegal and unconstitutional.
It was expected that PDPA would raise a new protest wave – workers, officials, students and pupils were supposed to go out on the traditional May Day processions not only in Kabul but also in the cities throughout the country.
Three days before the D-day
On the 24th of April in a restaurant that belonged to the Defense Minister Colonel General Ghulam Haidar Rasuli, the President of Afghanistan Mohammed Daoud, his younger brother Mohammed Naim, Minister of Internal Affairs and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs held a secret meeting with the US ambassador Theodore Lyman Eliot Jr. The US diplomat recommended the Afghans to take emergency measures in order to neutralize PDPA as soon as possible. 14 years later ambassador Eliot said in an interview:
«I think he [Daoud] was not aware of the fact that some of his confidants were communists and no doubt served the Soviets. His naivety and – the thing I cannot understand until now – weird inability to act relentlessly at a crucial moment in April 1978 cost him the life and the power… He did not arrest enough people. Hi did not kill them, what, I presume, he would do in the beginning of his career. He did not arrest the Communist leaders in the Armed Forces, he did not cut the connection of the detained with the Army… I worked hard and not without success to make Daoud understand, as many of his confidants had understood before, — I was not the only one to speak of it with him, — the only world’s threat to Afghanistan came from the USSR. But he started acting too late and Soviet ideological and imperialist imperatives were too strong.»
One day before the D-day
Around 1 a.m., the Afghan police arrested some PDPA members, including the party General Secretary of Central Committee Nur Muhammad Taraki and the Secretary of Central Committee Babrak Karmal. Simultaneously, civil servants arrests started – the ones who were party members and those who just sympathized with it. Totally, there were more than 500 people on the police detention lists who were accused of the high treason, the intention to overthrow the government and committing felonies.
Hafizullah Amin remained under the house arrest until 11 o'clock in the afternoon and instructed the party supporters among officers to start the armed uprising on the April 27 morning.
According to the plan, 22 Khalqist officers were to take command of the military units in the capital, blow strikes against the presidential palace Arg and also seize Kabul and Bagram airports, “Radio Afghanistan” radio station, a number of ministries and departments. Only those militaries who were loyal to Khalq faction received the password and instruction to act – the majority of Parchamists often did not know even after the beginning of the upraising that the party leadership stood behind what was happening.
Officers of the 4th Tank Brigade, Air Force and Air Defense Headquarters received the Hafizullah Amin’s signal from Lieutenant Sayed Muhammad Gulabzoi who was an operator of An-26 aircraft that belonged to 373rd Transport Aerial Regiment. Within a day, the party messengers made the contact with Khalqists in the Army and gave them the order be ready by 8:00 o’clock the next day.
In the evening, a special announcement was broadcast on the radio about the arrest of PDPA leadership. At the same time, the Defense Minister Colonel General Ghulam Haidar Rasuli gave the order to hold solemn events in all the military units in the morning of April 27 in connection with the liquidation of Communists’ plot.
Lieutenant Gulabzoi managed to notify about the upcoming extraordinary events not only the party comrades but also the Kabul station of the KGB of the USSR in which he was code-named “Momand”. The same evening the confirmation was received from another PDPA member – the Chief of the 4th Tank Brigade Headquarters Major Mohammad Rafi (code-named “Niruz”). KGB resident in Kabul Vilior Osadchy immediately gave the information to the center.
At 06:30 am on April 27 at the bus stop near the Kabul Zoo the officers , who were to become soon the heroes of the Saur Revolution, spent the last meeting before the armed action, clarified plans and tasks, coordinated their actions, and then went to the service. There were 2.5 hours left before the beginning.
At 09:00 am, the Battalion commander of the 4th Tank Brigade major Mohammad Aslam Watanjar performed in front of other officers of the Pul-e-Charkhi garrison that was located 30 km to the North of Kabul and pronounced that he got the signal to topple Mohammed Daoud’s regime with the power of weapons. The “Khalq” positions were quite strong among tank men, but on that moment, the Brigade Commander was on his vacations and his duties were performed by Major Mohammad Rafi – one of the few Parchamists who had to be brought up to date in advance.
One can meet a legend in many sources, in which Major Watanjar was convincing his commander (who, as we know, was on his vacations) to sign the papers allowing to get six shells for each of 12 tanks of one of the Companies – in case if there was an urgent order to move for the President Palace defense. Adding a zero to the six (in the system of writing numbers, adopted in Afghanistan, a zero corresponds to a dot), Watanjar received already 60 shells for each of his tanks — despite the fact that T-54 ammunition was 34 shots.
Assisted by other officers, Watanjar and Rafi could quickly suppress the resistance of Daoud’s supporters, which The Battalion Commander of the 15th Brigade Major Ghulam Hazrat tried to lead. After that, already two Tank Brigades appeared under the rebel’s control. At 09:30 am, the communication lines were disabled between the Defense Ministry and the Pul-e-Charkhi garrison.
Meanwhile in the President Palace Arg the meeting started, in which president Daoud discussed with ministers the current situation in the country and the future fate of the arrested. As the PDPA leaders stated afterwards, most of the audience spoke for the death penalty and even signed the relevant document.
After 11:00, the first tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from the 4th and 15th Tank Brigades started moving towards Kabul – according Gulabzoi’s memories, around 60 tanks acted on the side of the rebels. Partially they were directed to Kabul airport Khwaja Rawash, where the events did not develop according to the plan at all.
Air Force and Air Defense Headquarters Chief Colonel Abdul Qadir who also was a part-time leader of “The United front of the Afghanistan Communists” simply locked himself in the office and was waiting for something – perhaps he just was unaware of who stood behind the coup. According to another version, his superior officer Colonel General Mohammad Musa Khan arrested him. There is also the third version according to which Abdul Qadir all that time tried unsuccessfully to get strike aircrafts in the air but no one carried out his orders at the Bagram air base as the Colonel had no suitable password – Amin wanted the coup to be done only by Khalqists’ hands. Anyway, the tank crews that were on their way to Kabul to overthrow Daoud also risked staying without the air support.
Around 11:45 am, the Arg palace was blocked by the military units under the command of Major Watanjar and Captain Ahmed Jan and the commander of the 225th Transport Battalion of the Brigade Major Shir Jan Mazduryar. At noon sharp, on the Watanjar’s order the tank with “815” turret number made the first shot and thrust the shell into the Defense Ministry building that was right across the road from the President Palace. The palace security – the brigade of the presidential guards around 2000 men who among other things possessed 24 tanks – opened the fire in reply.
Soon after the fight beginning, The Minister of Internal Affairs Nuristani together with the Defense Minister Colonel General Rasuli left the Palace. The former managed to raise gendarmerie units for the help of the Arg defenders, however when the column head machines appeared on the Pashtunistan Square, they were immediately destroyed by the tank cannon fire. After that, the Nuristani’s subordinates fighting ardor dried up. The British Embassy informed London:
“There are more than 50 tanks in the city center, where the street fights are going on. A message received that that as of 12:30 local time, a building is burning on the palace territory”.
On the order of the Air Force and Air Defense Commander, two MiG-21s of the 322nd Fighter Aerial Regiment took off from Bagram airdrome with the task to attack the tanks and the infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) moving to Kabul. The inspector of the Air Force Combat Training Department Major Mir Gausuddin, who also was a secret PDPA member, led the pair and that is why the “MiGs” simply imitated the strike against the mutineers and after firing up the ammunition at the wasteland went back to the air base.
Lieutenant Gulabzoi was less lucky. He along with two IFVs already was at Khwaja Rawash airfield when a pair of Su-7B of the 355th Fighter-Bomber Aviation regiment attacked them. Four crewmembers were dead and badly wounded Gulabzoi appeared in the hospital. After that, Colonel Abdul Qadir managed to take off by helicopter to Bagram where he could organize the combat work of the Air Forces to support the rioters. Khwaja Rawash was taken soon by the tanks from Pul-e-Charkhi.
Around 16:00 pm, the Arg Palace was firstly hit by the Air Force. By that time, a good weather, settled in the morning, was changed by the rain, wind gusts reached up to 18 m/s, which greatly hampered the pilots’ actions. In addition, in the center of Kabul, there were embassies and dwellings next to President Residence and that is why they had to act with a special caution, using only aircraft cannons and unguided missiles. However, the mistakes were unavoidable – a house with foreign Peace Corps volunteers was destroyed but fortunately, no one suffered seriously.
The rebels rapidly boosted their actions with the Air Force support. In spite of the resistance of gendarmerie units, The Ministry of Internal Affairs and “Radio Afghanistan” radio station were captured. At the fortress Bala Hissar, where Commando units stationed, PDPA member officers managed to win victory over Daoud’s supporters only by 17:00 pm.
By that time, the palace besiegers managed to contact the party supporters inside Arg – the Operational Department Head of the Guards Headquarters Major Gul Agha and Abdul Huq Olumi. Both of them belonged to “Parcham” faction and from the very beginning of the clashes, they thought that they dealt with Islamist mutiny in the Armed Forces. Nevertheless, PDPA members were not eager to perish for Daoud in the fight with their party members and very soon, the Guards resistance went weaker.
The things were about the same in the 88th Artillery Brigade, in which a “Parcham” member Major Khalilullah performed the Commander’s duties. Apparently, he could find out who fought against who in Kabul streets with a huge delay as the Brigade started acting only in the evening. The delay cost Khalilullah freedom – two months later he would be behind the bars.
At 17:30 pm, the PDPA leaders were released from The Kabul Police Department prison. Tank crews under the command of the Air Force Chief Meteorologist Sayed Daoud Tarun broke the wall of the Detention and delivered Taraki, Karmal, Amin and others to the “Radio Afghanistan” building. At 19:00, those Kabul residents who were by their radio receivers heard the “Raga Malhar” melody – the traditionally performed melody during the power change in Afghanistan. After that, there was a message about the Revolution victory, read by Major Watanjar (in Pashto) and Colonel Abdul Qadir (in Dari):
“Dear compatriots! For the first time in the history of Afghanistan, the last remnants of monarchy, tyranny, despotism and power of the dynasty of the tyrant Nader Khan has ended. And all powers of the state are in the hands of the people of Afghanistan. The state functions are fully performed by the Revolution Military Council.”
However, it was too far from rebel’s complete victory. Two infantry fighting vehicles of the 4th Tank Brigade were destroyed in the battle near the Arg Palace, the Chief of the Brigade Mechanized Battalion Headquarters Senior Captain Omar Mohammad Sharif was killed. The remnants of the President Guards went on defending themselves. The Defense Minister Colonel General Rasuli was personally visiting the military units in the capital suburbs, raising them for Daoud’s help.
The 8th Infantry Division output to Kabul was thwarted due to the coordinated action of two PDPA members – the Tank Battalion Commander and the Anti — Aircraft Battery Commander. Tank men blocked the column output and the anti — aircraft gunners fired several warning shots and the Division laid the weapons down.
In the 7th Infantry Division, the PDPA positions were much weaker due to the rebel’s failed attempt to terminate the formation commanders. Daoud’s supporters killed in a shootout Muhammad Ali who should have led the Division according to the uprising plan. As the result, on the Colonel General Rasuli’s order the Division started moving to the city center from its permanent station point at Rishkhor. In the area of Darul Aman Palace, the Division column came under the fire of 100 mm anti-aircraft guns from the nearby heights and after and in addition, planes inflicted the blows on the Division. One “MiG” was hit by the ground fire and the pilot catapulted. Later from the West Kabul edge the 88th Artillery Brigade opened fire on Rishkhor and the 7th Infantry Division surrendered.
Mutineers’ artillery and air forces also acted on Tajbeg Palace where the Central Army Corps Staff stationed – outside the city there were no limits on weapons application and pilots massively used aerial bombs. Combat flights did not stop at night too: the Air Forces acted on the Arg Palace where the clashes still went on.
During the fight time, 23 pilots from two Bagram aerial regiments – the 322nd Fighter and the 355th Fighter-Bomber ones – fulfilled 95 combat missions, including night ones; Major Mir Gausuddin personally made 14 combat flights. 70% of all operable “MiGs” and all operable Sukhoi “Su-7Bs” were in action, 48 high explosive fragmentation OFAB 250 bombs together with more than 3000 unguided missiles and 3000 shells were used. Two planes were lost – a downed near Rishkhor “MiG-21UM” and Su-7B, which pilot started to faint on the takeoff because of the overwork and catapulted. Besides that, three “MiG-21s”, four “Su-7Bs”, one “Mi-8”, “AN-26” and “IL-14” were damaged.
The units that sided PDPA (data on the number of both sides are given according Mohammad Nabi Azimi’s book and Colonel Valery Ablazov’s publications):
- The 4th and the 15th Tank Brigades (Pul-e-Charkhi) – 400 men, 60 tanks, 20-40 IFVs and APCs;
- The 88th Artillery Brigade (Maktab Khana) – 300 men, 40 D-30 and M-30 howitzers, 6 MLRSs;
- The 444th Commando Battalion (Bala Hissar) – 500 men;
- The 322nd Aerial Fighter Regiment (Bagram) – 28 “MiGs” of various modifications;
- The 335th Aerial Fighter-Bomber Regiment (Bagram) – 24 “Su-7BMKs”;
- The 337th Aerial Transport Regiment (Khwaja Rawash) – around 30 “Mi-4s”, “Mi-8s”, “AN-26s” and “IL-14s”.
In total, up to 1500 men, 60 tanks, up to 40 IFVs and APCs, 40 guns, 6 MLRSs, around 60 strike aircrafts took the mutineers’ side. Units that remained loyal to Mohammed Daoud:
- The Guard Brigade (Arg) – 1500-2000 men, 24 tanks;
- The 26th Parachute Battalion (Bala Hissar) – 500 men;
- The 7th Infantry Division (Rishkhor) – 5000 men, 31 tanks, 12 artillery guns;
- The 8th Infantry Division (Kargha) – 5000 men, 31tanks, 12 artillery guns.
The Central Army Corps Staff acted also on the President’s side together with separate Army and gendarmerie units and all in all it was up to 12 500 men, 86 tanks, 24 guns.
Early morning of April 28, Shahnawaz Tanai, who just took the command over the 444th Commando Battalion, directed Communications Platoon Commander Senior Lieutenant Imamuddin as an envoy to Arg. Received the suggestion to surrender, Daoud shot at the officer and wounded him. Mohammed Daoud himself, his family and the closest circle members were killed by the return fire. The Guard Brigade Commander Sahib Jan was taken into captivity and was shot afterwards, it must be noted, that before the upraising he was a friend to many high rank PDPA members and he even received a proposal to join the party.
The Defense Minister Colonel General Ghulam Haidar Rasuli, the General Staff Chief General Abdul Aziz and the Chief of Central Corps Staff Abdul Ali had left Tajbeg Palace after the aviation strikes and hid nearby in the gardener’s house and the gardener later gave their location to the rebels. All three were shot.
At 07:30, the message of the Military Revolutionary Council sounded on the radio:
“The cancellation of the Mohammed Daoud’s false constitution and of his government fall is officially announced. From now on, the decrees and orders of the Military Revolutionary Council of the Armed Forces come into force. The Military Revolutionary Council fully controls the situation. All the units of the country Armed Forces stated the loyalty to the Military Revolutionary Council and fulfil their patriotic duty.”
Received the tidings of the armed uprising victory in Kabul, PDPA supporters started taking the power in their hands on the ground. Loyal to Daoud unit commanders and local administration members were directed to Kabul by planes. The British Embassy in Kabul reported to London:
“Everything says that a successful military coup took place and the new regime controls the situation at least now. It is quiet in Kabul. The retaliation seems the least possible from Daoud’s side. It is reported Daoud himself and his brother Mohammed Naim died and everyone accepted the explanation… Radio messages are on behalf of Colonel Watanjar who is called the Head of the new Military council. We know nothing of him. The Americans and the Germans are also unaware of him.”
The military uprising, that was later called the Saur Revolution, won. The figures, voiced by the General Secretary of the PDPA Central Committee Nur Muhammad Taraki, say that a little bit more than 70 people were killed in the battles. The future Colonel General and a PDPA Central Committee member Mohammad Nabi Azimi, who was a Lieutenant Colonel and a Central Army Corps Staff officer in April 1978, estimated loss numbers from both sides in 1000-1500 men. The US Embassy operated with figures of 2000-3000 victims, according to BBC reports there were 10 000 killed and wounded.
The First Chairman of the Revolutionary Council and the Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA), the General Secretary of the PDPA Central Committee Nur Muhammad Taraki was removed from the power in September 1979 by Hafizullah Amin and on the 9th of October, Taraki was strangled on the Amin’s order in the basement of the Arg Palace, renamed into The People’s House. Hafizullah Amin stood in turn at the helm of the country and he was killed by the Soviet Special Forces during the storm of Tajbeg Palace.
Babrak Karmal came to power who was absolutely unfit to the state management according to many Soviet specialists who worked with him. In 1986, he was released from all the held positions due to the health conditions and left for cure for Moscow, where he died 10 years later.
Tank officers found themselves on the opposite sides of the barricades in an internal party conflict. Watanjar and Mazduryar supported Taraki, Ahmed Jan joined Amin.
Ahmed Jan became Amin’s adjutant, after his overthrown Jan was arrested but the Soviet advisers saved him from shooting. Afterwards he promoted to the 4th Tank Brigade Commander.
Mohammad Aslam Watanjar became the opposition leader to Amin and he was secretly delivered to the USSR. He came back in December 1979 and got the position of the Minister of Communications. From March 1990 and till the Kabul fall Watanjar was the last DRA Defense Minister.
After the Revolution Shir Jan Mazdooryar became the 4th Tank Brigade Commander, later the Central Army Corps Commander. Together with Watanjar, he opposed Amin but he was less lucky – in September 1979 Mazduryar was arrested and freed only after the entry of the Soviet troops into the country. In Karmal’s government took the position of the Minister of Tourism and Transport.
Sayed Muhammad Gulabzoi also took Taraki’s side. He was out of Afghanistan together with Watanjar and came back in December 1979. During the storm of Amin’s palace, Gulabzoi was a crewmember of the special group “Thunder” Commander. Then he became the Minister of Internal Affairs and later — the Afghanistan ambassador in the USSR. In 2005, he was elected to the lower house of the Afghan Parliament.
The Air Force Chief Meteorologist Sayed Daoud Tarun became the Chief of the Police and Taraki’s adjutant – in such a capacity he appeared the indispensable source on confidential information for Amin. On the 14th of September 1979, Tarun died in a shootout with Taraki’s bodyguards in the People’s House. In the memory of Tarun, Jalalabad was renamed into Tarunshahr but already in 1980 they returned the former name to the town.
Abdul Qadir was the first to conflict Amin and in August 1978 he was arrested for his part in an anti-government conspiracy. He was sentenced to death that was later changed for fifteen-year imprisonment. In December 1979, he was freed and in 1982 Qadir became the Defense Minister, in 1987 – the ambassador in Poland. He returned to Afghanistan only in a quarter of a century. Abdul Qadir died on 22 April 2014 in a military hospital, named after Mohammed Daoud toppled by him.
Together with Qadir, Muhammad Rafie was arrested, who had taken the position of the Minister of Public Works. After the Soviet Troops entry, he was released from jail and from 1979 to 1984 and 1986 to 1988 he served as the Defense Minister and later he became the Afghanistan Vice President.
Shahnawaz Tanai stayed away from the struggle of the Taraki and Amin groups, reached the rank of the Central Corps Commander, and then The General Staff Chief and in August 1988 he became the Defense Minister. On 6 March 1990, Tanai launched a failed coup against the President Mohammad Najibullah, fled to Pakistan, and joined Hekmatyar. Shahnawaz Tanai returned to Afghanistan in 2005.
Senior Lieutenant Imamuddin was transferred to staff work after being wounded, led the Operational Department of the Afghanistan Defense Ministry and for the active participation in the Tanai’s mutiny suppression received the rank of Colonel General.
Major Mir Gausuddin became the Commander of the 332nd Fighter Regiment and later he was transferred to the national airline “Bakhtar”. In February 1980, he was appointed as the Air Force Commander. When the Soviet-Afghan space program was forming, he asked for admission to the cosmonaut squad, however, instead of that he was appointed as military attaché.
Ambassador Theodore Lyman Eliot departed from Kabul in May 1978 and left the diplomatic service. His successor as Ambassador, Adolph Dubs, was taken hostage by terrorists on February 14, 1979, whose identity has not been reliably established to date, and died when the police stormed a Kabul Hotel room, where he was held for several hours. There a tragic irony in the fact that namely Major Tarun led the storm and he would be shot in seven months sharp.
The burial place of Mohammed Daoud and his family members, shot in the shootout in the Arg Palace, was found only 30 years later near the Pul-e-Charkhi garrison. On March 17, 2009, the remains of the former Afghanistan President were buried at the Kabul cemetery under the sound of the last salute from 21 artillery guns. During that day, even the forbidden in the Russian Federation “Taliban” movement observed the ceasefire.
Nearby the “Kabul” Hotel, at the very beginning of The Independence avenue, they placed an Afghan “Aurora” – T-54 tank with turret number “815” that made the first shot on the Saur Revolution day. In 1992, when Hekmatyar’s Islamist detachments were approaching Kabul, tank men took the tank off the pedestal, fueled it, placed a new accumulator and drove the tank into the Panjshir Valley. The Revolution was over but the war went on.
- Slinkin M. F. Afghanistan: opposition and power (1960-1970-ies of the XX century) / / Culture of the peoples of the Black Sea region-2005-No. 57;
- The history of the armed forces of Afghanistan 1747-1977 / ed. by Yu. V. Gankovsky-M.: «Science», 1985;
- Ablazov V. I. The Afghan arena. The Revolution or the coup? Part 2. Testimonies of eyewitnesses and participants (http://artofwar.ru);
- Azimi, Nabi. The Army and Politics: Afghanistan, 1963–1993 — AuthorHouse, 2019;
- Jalali, Ali Ahmad. A Military History of Afghanistan: From the Great Game to the Global War on Terror — University Press of Kanzas, 2017.