The Mauritanian authorities have recently allowed newsmen to visit a camp where Polisario Front and Algerian prisoners are being held, following several attacks on Mauritanian territory by groups of guerrillas seeking independence for the former Spanish Sahara.
GV: Polisario Front prisoners being guarded in desert camp
CUS: prisoners handcuffed (6 shots)
CUS: captured weapons on display (2 shots)
GV PAN INTERIOR: crowd applauds Moktar Ould Daddah.
CUS: Ould Daddah speaking, people listening and applauding (4 shots)
The Polisario Front is based in Algeria and is also backed by Libya. During the attack on Nouakchott Mauritanian troops killed the Polisario leader, Sayed El Wali, a lawyer in his 30's, who proclaimed the former Spanish Sahara a Democratic Arab Republic last February. This took place after Spanish troops had withdrawn from the phosphate-rich area and handed over control to Mauritania and Morocco.
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Background: The Mauritanian authorities have recently allowed newsmen to visit a camp where Polisario Front and Algerian prisoners are being held, following several attacks on Mauritanian territory by groups of guerrillas seeking independence for the former Spanish Sahara.
SYNOPSIS: In June guerrillas of the Algerian-backed Polisario movement attacked the mauritanian capital, Nouakchott and, according to the Mauritanian ambassador to France, Monsieur Ahmed Ould Ghanahallah, 800 men were sent in an attempt to overthrow the government. But Mauritanian forces took the main brunt of the attack well north of the capital and Monsieur Ghanahallah said that the bodies of 250 guerrillas were found after the fighting. It was also claimed that the highly-equipped Polisario force contained a great number of Algerian citizens.
Weapons alleged to have been used by the guerrillas were also on show and among them was a SAM Seven missile, which Mauritania claims was under the command of an Algerian officer.
Meanwhile, in Nouakchott, the mauritanian Head of State Moktar Ould Daddah, presided over a general meeting at the National Party headquarters. The theme for the occasion was the reunification of Mauritania and Monsieur Ould Daddah spoke sat length on the subject. He said that the cause of reunification had gathered momentum after the 17th of October 1975, when an agreement was reached between spain, Mauritania and Morocco over control of the Spanish Sahara.