Soviet troops said to strike back at Afghan guerrillas
Reports reaching here from Afghanistan indicate that the Soviet army of occupation is punishing entire villages for their resistance to that occupation. The latest incident is reported to have occurred at the town of Istalef, located 20 miles north of Kabul.
According to reports considered here to be reliable, Soviet soldiers in a surprise attack seized 10 Afghan guerrillas and executed them, together with their wives and children. The initial attack was followed by further assaults from tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, and helicopters. Sources of the reports say that civilian casualties may run into the hundreds.
A statement prepared by the US State Department for release today said such examples of brutality ''highlight the need for a negotiated political settlement'' in Afghanistan.
Isalef, a market town known for its brilliant blue pottery, was heavily damaged in an attack last October.