Withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan is proceeding "strictly according to schedule" and half of the 115,000 soldiers there will have left by Aug. 15, Pravda said Friday.

The official Communist Party newspaper said "the first stage of the withdrawal ends on Aug. 15, by which time half of the limited contingent of Soviet troops will have left Afghanistan.

"The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, in compliance with the Geneva Accords, is proceeding strictly according to schedule."

The newspaper quoted Afghan-based Lt. Gen. Boris Gromov as saying, "The agreements will be fulfilled precisely and in the preset time frame. No one should have any doubts on this score."