The official Soviet news agency Tass carried a bitter anti-American attack by Afghan President Babrak Karmal, who the Soviets said chaired a meeting that established a tribunal for purging the followers of executed president Hafizullah Amin.
The Tass dispatch came as part of an escalating war of words between Moscow and Washington over the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
In a dispatch from Kabul, Tass said the new revolutionary council met "under the chairmanship of Babrak" and set up a judicial tribunal to investigate "the criminal actions of Hafizullah Amin and his accomplices."
The report appeared to herald yet another violent purge of the Afghan army and the tiny circle of Afghan communists who came to power in April 1978 under Nur Mohammed Taraki and have been in political turmoil ever since.
[In Washington, State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said that Karmal, whom he called the "new puppet president," still had not been seen and that "we do not know his present whereabouts." However, other officials reported later that the United States now has confirmed information that Karmal had been seen Sunday in Kabul.]
Tass quoted an official statement by the new government in Kabul as saying:
"It is not by chance that the anti-Afghan campaign has been headed by the United States, which has taken a hostile stand since the April revolution and now strives to divert world attention from its aggressive actions towards Iran."
The phrasing and style of the pro-Moscow leadership's denunciation closely resembles official Moscow attacks against the United States, and signals that the two capitals will work closely in the coming weeks to blame Washington for fomenting the insurrection that brought Soviet troops to Afghanistan.
The Tass reference to Iran appeared calculated to blunt the impact of the Afghan intervention to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who has sharply criticized it.
"Life in the capital is returning to normal," the Soviet news agency dispatch from Kabul said. It quoted Kabul Radio as saying that "an atmosphere of complete calm has established itself everywhere and the Army of Afghanistan is in full control."
The Tass account contrasted sharply with reports from New Delhi of a 90-minute firefight in Kabul today between Soviet forces and followers of ousted president Amin.
Washington Post correspondent Stuart Auerbach quoted an Afghan rebel source in the Indian capital as saying "Afghanistan is not Czechoslovakia or Poland. Our people are still fighting. We are a mountainous country and we have borders with Iran, China and Pakistan where we can hide. They cannot conquer a country like this. The British did not conquer Afghanistan."
Auerbach said the Afghan rebel sources insisted that the strong Soviet presence in their country would serve to unite the contending groups of antigovernment Moslem tribesmen, who oppose both the "godless" nature of communism and the reforms proposed over the past two years by the pro-Soviet revolutionary government.
Meanwhile, Moscow media continued reporting the endorsements and recognition of the new regime by socialist and allied communist governments. Such Soviet allies as Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Vietnam and others have extended quick recognition.
In other related developments, the Literaturnaya Gazeta, an influential weekly, expanded on Soviet justification for its intervention, saying that Afghanistan was threatened by subversion fostered by the United States and China.
The Communist Party paper Pravda in today's editions laid down a tough anti-American line in explaining the Soviet military moves to its readers.
The literary weekly, nominally the organ of the official writers' union, claimed that "in December 1979 it became finally clear that widespread and crude foreign interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and member of the United Nations was taking place.
"The aim was to torpedo the independence of the republic, restore domination of fuedal lords and bourgeoisie and reestablish the economic, political and strategic positions of imperialism in Afghanistan."