The latest news from the Western Sahara says that Polisario forces have been successful in their attack on Mahbes - the last town under Moroccan control in the north - west of the territory.
The latest news from the Western Sahara says that Polisario forces have been successful in their attack on Mahbes - the last town under Moroccan control in the north - west of the territory. Yesterday the Polisario displayed some of the tanks, guns, and soldiers captured during the battle for Mahbes.
SYNOPSIS: Newsmen and cameramen from Algeria and international agencies were invited to visit the town of mahbes by the Polisario guerrillas. There they were shown captured Moroccan documents - documents abandoned, say the Polisario, by Moroccan soldiers.
Journalists and cameramen were also shown weapons and lorries captured from the Moroccans during the fighting for control of the Western Sahara town.
The Polisario also showed the journalists other equipment and supplies the Moroccans had left behind after the fighting.
Yesterday's (23 October) offer by the Carter Administration, to seel the Moroccans six OV - 10 armed reconnaissance planes and an undisclosed number of Cobra attack helicopters, was made in the hope that King Hassan of Morocco would use the new armaments as a bargaining tool for peace.
However many influential politicians in the U.S. have threatened to kill the sale. They say that Hassan would use the weapons to "prolong the war rather than shorten it."
The war itself started in 1976 when Spain pulled out of the Western Sahara and left it split between Morocco and Mauritania. Earlier this year Mauritania renounced its right to any of the territory in the former Spanish colony - and pulled its troops back to their pre-1976 lines. Morocco on the other hand, has stepped up its involvement in the area - despite the setbacks the Polisario guerrillas have been able to inflict.
The Polisario are supported by Algeria and with this help are able to keep up their relentless assaults on Moroccan positions. The Polisario say they are prepared to negotiate a settlement to the bitter struggle; however the Moroccan government remains steadfast in its refusal to deal with the guerrillas.
So far only limited attempts have been made to resolve the continuing conflict.