Afghan role of 'Muslim Battalions'

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Twenty years on from the Soviet Union's pull-out from Afghanistan, the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie looks at the role soldiers from the Central Asian nations played in the conflict.

In the almost 10 years that Soviet forces battled Afghanistan's Mujahideen, hundreds of thousands of soldiers from across the USSR took part in the conflict.

The troops included soldiers recruited from Afghanistan's mainly Muslim northern neighbours, who shared culture with their Afghan cousins.

Soviet authorities believed that these troops, coming from traditionally Islamic backgrounds with similar customs and, most importantly, similar dialects to those spoken in Afghanistan, could be used for covert operations.

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