To longtime residents, last week was considered quiet here. There was little gunfire at night; the massive Soviet airlift had lessened considerably, there were far fewer sorties of jet fighters and helicopter gunships from Kaul Airport and Soviet armor disappeared from many key intersections.

But there was still death all around.

On Friday,for example, there was a report of a battle near Paghman, a village just a 20-minute drive from here. Teachers at the University of Kaul reported seeing bodies still left by the side of the road yesterday -- something they considered sacrilegious since Moslem laws require burial within 24 hours of death.

Paghman had looked bucolically peaceful during a visit earlier Friday, but there were also reports that a government medical installation just past the town had been burned on a previous day.

A Health Ministry official said a team of six government workers on a vacation program were ambushed in that same area, leaving four of them dead and two wounded.As a result, government vaccination programs

There was an unconfirmed report that the rustling of 24 head of cattle from Karisismir, the former king's dairy ranch also near Paghman, had sparked a battle between rebels and government authorities.

Kabul was in the midst of a massive gasoline shortage, with police and armored cars being used to direct disorderly lines lines that stretched for blocks in all directions from service stations. In numerous cases, shots were fired to control the drivers, especially when the various line converged at the entrance to the stations and no driver would concede.

There was a variety of explanations for the sudden shortage of gasoline, which is imported in giant tank trucks from the SOVIET union.

Street talk blamed it on a rebel ambush of a tank convoy that took place on the road south from the Soviet border. A high ranking Afghan official, who should be in a position to know, said the rebels had not destroyed the trucks. They merely had hijacked a convoy and were holding it for ransom. His version could not be confirmed.

There are reports of nightly assassinations in Kabul and its surrounding villages. Some are reported to be part of the feud within the ruling communist People's Democratic Party but others are laid to rebel attacks on government officials, described by one rug merchant as "Afghan Soviets who sold out their country for a cup of vodka."

The daylight assassinations of two Soviets -- one a doctor, the other a police adviser, according to rumors in the city -- took place 10 days ago. The alleged police adviser was run down by rebels after they shot out the tires of his car and chased him into a cul-de-sac.

The killings shocked the large Soviet community here. One Soviet doctor with the World Health Organization, a close friend of the physician who was assassinated, was shaking when he reported the assassination to his WHO colleagues. "And he didn't even look Russian," he was quoted as saying.

Nevertheless, the large Soviet housing complex does not appear to be heavily guarded and the Soviets still shop, mostly in pairs, in the fruit bazaar, where merchants insist that they charge them twice what an American would have to pay.

Perhaps the greatest change in the city over the last few months has been the influx of refugees from villages the Soviets are reported to have bombed just north of here. It is hard to estimate how many refugees there are. Most disappear within the narrow streets and alleys of the old bazaar.

The most visible evidence of change is the sudden appearance of beggars especially able-bodied men, at the market place and on main streets. Beggars common in most of South Asia, are rare here, unless they are disabled, since Afghans generally are too proud to beg.