Afghan army post, one of many, arranged in concentric rings around
Kabul. Mujahedin would crawl around these posts at night and
yell everything from obscenities to invitations to surrender.
It often provoked wild gunfire and certainly worked on the nerves
of all those inside.
These forts, designed to defend Kabul from attack, were little
more than isolated prisons for the "defenders" inside.
On quiet evenings, men inside howled like baying hounds in loneliness
and fear. They fired parachute flares into the night sky and
shot at them with heavy machine guns out of boredom. One commander,
Ausef, boasted that he was able to get the forts to shoot at
In the summer of 1988, the whole defense was expected to be swept
aside in one final Mujahedin offensive. It would have been comparatively
easy. But it was not to happen for another five years.