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Kyrgyz Veterans Remember Soviet-Afghan War Dead

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war today commemorated the victims of the 1979-1989 conflict, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Twenty-two years ago today, the last Soviet troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan, following more than nine years of war.

The Afghan War Veterans Council in Kyrgyzstan organized the ceremony in Bishkek in front of a memorial to the victims of the war. Deputy Defense Minister Taalaibek Omuraliev participated in the ceremony.

Over 7,000 young men from Soviet Kyrgyzstan were sent to Afghanistan. Some 250 never made it back.

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up Kabul's communist regime but was forced to withdraw in 1989 by Afghanistan's armed resistance, the mujahedin.

Read more in Kyrgyz here