News In Brief

Afghan rebel chief back in effort to retake valley

Afghan guerrilla chief Ahmad Shah Masood has returned to the Panjshir Valley and is directing operations against Soviet forces who overran it, Western diplomatic sources said Tuesday. But they said that, despite his return, the Soviet Union and the Afghan military have been able to tighten their grip on the strategic valley. Mr. Masood was believed to have been captured.

One of the diplomats also said that ''a surge in assassinations'' in Kabul has killed at least seven Afghan government officers, including a full colonel. The wave of murders was believed by the sources to be the result of a long-running feud between two factions of the ruling Communist Party.

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