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KHOWST

KHOWST Khowst is a small town in a plain of that name west of Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan Mujahideen forces besieged Afghan and Soviet garrisons in Khowst almost from the beginning of the war in December 1979 The Soviets tried hard to dislocate the mujahideen from Khowst while Pakistan and the United States provided the mujahideen with heavy equipment by land and by air Once the mujahideen were equipped with such sophisticated antiaircraft weapons as stinger and blowpipe missiles, the supply of the garrison by air became hazardous In December 1987 the Soviet and Afghan troops launched a massive operation to open the 120-kilometer road through the mountains to the plain of Khowst The battle for Khowst was the most important land battle fought during the Soviet occupation of AfghanistanAfter the departure of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Khowst became an important training center for the “soldiers of Islam,” the followers of Osama bin Laden, who fought in conflicts around the world including those in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Kosovo Those who were trained in the camps at Khowst were also allegedly involved in several acts of terrorism, including the bombing in August 1998 of the United States embassies in East Africa On 20 August 1998, US



President Bill Clinton ordered missile attacks on Khowst in the hope of destroying the training facilities and killing bin Laden The attacks were unsuccessful Even after the fall of the Taliban regime and consolidation of power by the administration headed by President Hamid Karzai, Khowst remained restive

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