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|Afghanistan in 1979
Internal dissent and revolt against the Soviet-backed government led to the fall of two Presidents and an invasion by Soviet troops.
President Noor Mohammad Taraki resigned on September 16, citing poor health, and died soon after. His successor, Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin, was unable to halt the rebellion, and his refusal to follow Soviet advice led to his downfall. Thousands of Russian troops were in Kabul when Amin was ousted and executed on December 27. His successor, Babrak Karmal, immediately asked for more Soviet economic and military aid. By year's end it was estimated that as many as 45,000 Soviet troops were fighting in the Afghan countryside.
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