• Short Summary

    Belgian paratroops in jeeps and lorries captured Leopoldville Airport from rebel Congolese soldiers July 13 while women and children refugees crouched behind their suitcases to avoid stray bullets.

  • Description

    Belgian paratroops in jeeps and lorries captured Leopoldville Airport from rebel Congolese soldiers July 13 while women and children refugees crouched behind their suitcases to avoid stray bullets.

    The paratroops' commander, Belgian General Gheysen, ordered the seizure of the airport building shortly after rejecting Congo Government demands for the withdrawal of all Belgian troops to their bases within two hours.

    The general said he acted to avoid brutality against wounded Belgian soldiers held hostage by the rebels at the airport.

    For the refugees it was 48 minutes of terror. At the end of it, three Belgians including two women were wounded, one Congolese rebel was shot down and another wounded. The paratroops took 50 prisoners.

    A Visnews cameraman said the scene was one of indescribable chaos.

    "The floor was littered with baggage among which men women and children were lying flat on the ground trying to avoid the bullets. Rifle shots and bursts of sten gun fire burst out from every corner. The paratroopers threw grenades into the restaurant and up the staircase. They then advanced up the staircase firing all the time."
    Congolese Secretary of Defence Myombo, deputising for Prime Minister Lumumba, arrived at the airport as the wounded were carried away on stretchers. Later, acting as a mediator, Mr Myombo, took four of the rebel prisoners to a Congolese military camp to show their colleagues they were unharmed - according to a rebel-inspired rumour the paratroops had shot them.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7WDOO9OCPCVJ4IH44V9CZBVIR
    Media URN:
    VLVA7WDOO9OCPCVJ4IH44V9CZBVIR
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/07/1960
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:08:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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