Pakistan says Soviets annexing key Afghan area

Pakistan's official news agency says the Soviet Union is annexing the strategic Wakhan corridor in northeastern Afghanistan. The corridor, a 185 -mile-long finger pointing at China and bounded by the Soviet republic of Tadzhikistan and Pakistan, was created in 1895 so Britain's Indian empire would not have a common border with Russia.

The news agency said that during the past six months large numbers of troops have moved into the area and begun improving the corridor's communication infrastructure. Western diplomats said the Soviet Union was apparently trying to close the passes from China and Pakistan into the Wakhan corridor to prevent any possible military and other supplies reaching the antigovernment rebels in northern and central Afghanistan.

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