Fighting broke out near Kabul airport Thursday between Soviet troops and Afghan Army units, according to reports reaching diplomats in Pakistan. Unconfirmed accounts said clashes also were reported near the Bala Hissar Fort, site of the Afghan Army mutiny last August. The diplomats said the reports were sketchy and they had no details of the fighting.
In northeastern Afghanistan, guerrilla spokesmen said Thursday that "in recent days" Soviet aircraft had dropped paratroopers and light tanks to back Afghan government forces battling Muslim insurgents. Western sources say the 85 ,000-strong Soviet Army in Afghanistan is generally leaving most of the fighting against the insurgents to Afghan forces. But in the northeast, near the Soviet border, Red Army troops appear to be helping to stiffen the government resistance.