Afghan officer flees homeland in a tank

An Afghan Army lieutenant escaped from his Soviet-occupied homeland in a Russian T-54 tank Saturday and asked for political asylum, Afghan rebel sources said. The defection, thought to be the first ever here in a tank, took place at Chaman in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province, which borders southern Kandahar Province in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.

Lt. Nazar Mohammad said he was a deserter from the Afghan Army and wanted political asylum in Pakistan. He reportedly fled from the mountainous area of Spin Baldak, where several thousa nd Soviet troops are guarding the Afghan border.

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