In Rhodesia, government forces killed 31 African Nationalist guerrillas in a battle near the border with Mozambique, it was announced on Wednesday (1 November).
In Rhodesia, government forces killed 31 African Nationalist guerrillas in a battle near the border with Mozambique, it was announced on Wednesday (1 November). The death toll is the highest in any single clash in the four-year old war.
SYNOPSIS: The guerrilla group was attacked inside Rhodesia on Monday (15 November, about six miles (10 kms) from the border and less than 12 hours after it had crossed the frontier. Newsmen were told that helicopters were used and the battle lasted 12 hours.
The Rhodesians suffered only three casualties, one of them fatal. They captured a hoard for weapons left behind by the guerrillas. The arms went on display at the army camp at Ruda, an eastern border settlement near where the battle occurred. The weapons included 32 Chinese-made rifles, boxes of stick grenades, a rocket launcher and a large supply of Soviet-made rockets, as well as mortars and a mine. The guerrilla force was located at dawn and pinned down in thick bush round a rocky hill. Senior officers said the group was probably on a supply operation form their base in Mozambique.
Earlier, newsmen were shown the body of a dead guerrilla section commander killed in another engagement. It was displayed at the police depot in Resape on the road to Salisbury. His group was held responsible for the killing of a white farmer last September.
A former British soldier, Corporal Bob Smith spoke to the BBC's Michael Cole about the border battle: