Mozabique claimed on Friday (10 June) that at least 15 raiding Rhodesian soldiers died on the 31st of May when Mozambican forces destroyed a transport plane taking off from Mapai.
Mozabique claimed on Friday (10 June) that at least 15 raiding Rhodesian soldiers died on the 31st of May when Mozambican forces destroyed a transport plane taking off from Mapai. The Mozambican News Agency report contradicts Rhodesia's claim that the plane had crashed and that the only casualty was the pilot.
SYNOPSIS: The incident occurred during Rhodesia's five-day raid against alleged guerrilla base inside Mozambique late last month. The Rhodesian government has released film of that raid, which concentrated on an area abut 50 miles (80 kilometres) in from the border.
This camp was one of those burnt down in the incursion. It was about five miles (8 kilometres) inside the border.
Government sources say the south-eastern border had become a particularly intense war area and this was why the incursion had taken place.
Reports on casualties varied, but the Rhodesians say 32 guerrillas were killed in four base camps, with no casualties to their forces. It was the third reprisal raid into Mozambique following an incursion into the area last August when an estimated 300 guerrillas were killed.
On Friday (10 June) Rhodesians staged another raid close to the border. An official communique said a small group of guerrillas fled leaving their weapons and equipment behind. It did not mention casualties.
As well as destroying camps during the earlier raid, the Rhodesians captured ammunition and weapons used by the guerrillas. Journalists were later shown samples of advanced Communist weapon, which included a powerful anti-aircraft cannon, piles of machine guns, rifles, rockets and grenades. The raid was the subject of strong international criticism, particularly from Britain. Rhodesia defended its action by saying it was a defensive operation designed to halt terrorist incursions. The Foreign Minister, Mr Pieter van der Byl raid his country had no hostile intention towards Mozambique. Rhodesia's solo intention, he said, was to protect its own citizens, or any race from terrorist aggression across Rhodesia's borders.