Thousands of Afghans shouting anti-Soviet slogans stormed the Soviet Embassy today, the first anniversary of Moscow's intervention in Afghanistan, and at least one person was wounded by gunfire.
Scores of demonstrators scaled the high wall of the embassy compound in central Tehran, tore down the Soviet flag, burned several others and broke windows before being thrown out by Revolutionary Guards wielding iron bars.
In Moscow, the Soviet news agency Tass denounced the attack as an "outrageous provocation." Tass said that "thugs forced their way into the reception hall of the embassy and inflicted considerable material damage."
Tass called the demonstrators "hooligan-type elements, whose actions have obviously been inspired by reactionary forces."
Afghans exiles and their supporters also staged anti-soviet demonstrations in several other countries, where they burned pictures of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and Afghan President Babrak Karmal, who was installed in power by Soviet invasion forces a year ago. In addition, protests against the Soviet occupation were reported in the Afghan capital, Kabul, amid continuing guerrilla activity by Moslem rebels in the countryside.
In Washington, at least 300 Afghan marchers gathered near the Soviet Embassy and chanted slogans such as "Death to the KGB" and "Russian butchers out of Afghanistan." Police formed a barricade about 500 feet from the embassy, and no incidents were reported.
In New Delhi, about 400 Afghans screaming "Brezhnev, we kill you," torched huge pictures of the Kremlin leader in front of the Soviet Embassy to protest celebrations of their first anniversary of the Soviet intervention. t
Travelers arriving in New Delhi from Afghanistan yesterday said nearly all Afghan rebel groups had called for a protest strike by shopkeepers and others in Kabul today against the Babrak government.
There was no immediate indication about the response to the protest call, which urged Afghans to wear black armbands and fly black flags over their houses.
The appeals, issued by representatives of Afghan guerrilla groups across the border in Pakistan, also called on Afghans to intensify their struggle against Soviet forces. Three of six news items broadcast by the official Radio Afghanistan last night spoke of activities of "terrorists" -- one of the terms used to describe the rebels.
Meanwhile, Babrak called upon exiled nationalist groups to reform home to help form a new government, Radio Kabul reported today.
The broadcast said Babrak wanted a special council to prepare a new constitution and government structure, but gave no details.
Demonstrations also were held today in West Germany, where about 600 people marched on the Soviet Embassy in Bonn, calling on the Soviet forces to leave Afghanistan. In Frankfurt, protesters burned an effigy of Brezhnev as 100 Afghan students began a hunger strike in a local mosque.
In Rome, the exiled Afghan king, Mohammed Zahir Shah, broke his silence on events in his country to speak of "the millions of Afghans suffering under foreign occupation."
In a statement read on Italian state radio, he said: "In hope that the whole world may take notice of the Calvary of a nation that asks nothing but to live, I pray God to aid the Afghan people in its heroic struggle and its legitimate war for independence, liberty, and human dignity."
The former king has lived in Rome since being deposed in a coup in July 1973, but rarely has spoken publicly.
In Tehran, police and Revolutionary Guards protecting the Soviet Embassy has fired in the air, attempting to disperse the estimated 5,000 demonstrators who had gathered outside the compound.
Shooting "Death to Russia" and "Criminal Russians go home," the demonstrators pushed back the guards and raised pictures of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
One Afghan was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds, police said. It was not immediately clear who shot him.
Most of the demonstrators went on to the Afghan Embassy, where they hurled stones, smashed windows and scuffled with police.
The official Pars News Agency said the Afghans who entered the Soviet compound read a resolution "condemning the occupation of their country by Soviet troops."
The Soviet Embassy is about half a mile from the U.S. Embassy, seized almost 14 months ago by radical Moslem students.
Afghans in Mashad in northeastern Iran also burned pictures of Babrak and Brezhnev, Pars added.
There is a large Afghan community in Iran, mostly made up of laborers and street vendors.