ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, OCT. 10 -- The Soviet-backed Afghan government offered today to buy arms, including U.S.-made Stinger missiles, from those rebels who stopped fighting.
The official Kabul radio, monitored here, quoted a decree authorizing the armed forces and the ministries of defense, state security and interior to buy such weapons, including the Stinger and British Blowpipe antiaircraft missiles.
The broadcast came as the Iranian news agency IRNA quoted the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards as saying Tehran was making its own version of the Stinger, copying missiles it had obtained a long time ago.
IRNA had reported that Iranian forces in patrol boats fired Stinger surface-to-air missiles at U.S. helicopter gunships that attacked them in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.
U.S. officials said some Stinger parts were found on two damaged gunboats, seized after the attack.
Afghanistan Foreign Minister Abdul Wakil told the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 28 that the United States had stepped up the flow of Stinger missiles to the rebels from 60 last year to 600 this year and that Britain had increased the supply of Blowpipes.
The Kabul broadcast described the decree, issued by the presidium of the legislative Revolutionary Council, as part of the government's peace drive launched early this year to end the nine-year-old war against the western-backed guerrillas.
It said many rebels who had surrendered had told authorities that they had bought arms with their own money and wanted compensation.
"The armed forces and the ministries of defense, state security and interior . . . are authorized to buy arms and ammunition from detachments, groups and individuals who stop combat operations at a specific price," the decree said.
It said the deals could be handled in secret.
No figures were available of how many rebels had accepted Kabul's peace move, which has been rejected by guerrillas based in neighboring Pakistan and Iran.
Afghan leader Najibullah said in August that more than 70,000 refugees had returned to Afghanistan and about 30,000 had laid down their arms.
An estimated five million Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan and Iran.