The Moroccan government says many Polisario guerrillas were killed in ten days of fighting which included assaults on main towns in the disputed territory.
The Moroccan government says many Polisario guerrillas were killed in ten days of fighting which included assaults on main towns in the disputed territory. At one stage the guerrillas claimed that they captured Smara.
SYNOPSIS: Smara is the second largest town in the Western Sahara, and the assault was reported to have been made by about five thousand polisario troops. The Moroccan defenders in the garrison say they beat back the attack, although the guerrillas said at a news conference they held the town for a time. The Moroccans later Showed newsmen the equipment that they say was seized during the battle. There have been claims in morocco that Soviet weapons are being used by the guerrillas in their bid to gain independence.
In denying that the town had been captured, the moroccan authorities said their jet fighters had harassed the retreating Polisarios after a two-day battle. And they said this casualty was not an Arab, but a Cuban or Vietnamese.
The Algerian-backed Polisario Front has for three years been fighting against forces equipped with modern weapons including Mirage F-1 jets.
The fight for Smara was one of three major battles fought within ten days. The Moroccan government said there were also attacks on the key frontier post of Bahbess, and on Touzgui Remz, north of Smara.