Afghanistan's border affairs minister has been killed by tribesmen while trying to buy their loyalty, rebel spokesmen said yesterday in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in Frankfurt, West Germany, about 100 Afghans called a dramatic airport news conference to announce they had completed a four-month exodus of 250 employes of the Afghan airline Ariana.
Pilot Habullah Balchi, with two children at his side, said he refused to fly Ariana's DC10 back to Kabul. He said only seven pilots remained in Kabul and that the airline could not meet its international schedules.
Bachi and other personnel said their flight into exile was kept secret so they could smuggle relatives out. Some fled on camel and on foot through mountain passes, they said.
The rebel leaders in Peshawar said Border Affairs Minister Faiz Mohammad was killed Thursday in the village of Lake Tiga, where he was attending a meeting of chiefs from the Zadran tribe.
Quoting reports filtered from Miramshah, the main Pakistani town along the border with Afghanistan, the rebel spokesmen said two other officials also were killed in the attempt to ensure the tribe's loyalty, or at least neutrality, in the Soviet-backed Kabul government's war against the insurgents.
Faiz reportedly had landed in a helicopter with the Equivalent of about $28,000, accompanied by the son of the commander of a newly created tribal militia force, Gen. Baba Khan, and an unnamed aide.
The tribesmen accepted the money, then killed the officials, according to the reports. There was no official version of the alleged events. It was known that Faiz had traveled extensively in tribal areas seeking support for President Babrak Karmal's beleaguered government.