Rhodesia's main road link with South Africa was closed on Monday (19 April) after African nationalists shot and killed three South African tourists and wounded a fourth.
GV PAN FROM Closed petrol station TO police roadblock at Noungu (2 shots)
CU Armed policeman
SV Soldiers driving armoured car along road (2 shots)
SV People waiting for local bus (2 shots)
SV Police roadblock at Fort Victoria; police stopping car and telling driver to turn back (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Black policeman TO Local man driving car through roadblock
SV Lorry carrying horses stopped by police and allowed through (3 shots)
CU PAN FROM White policeman talking to driver of car, telling him to turn back on diversion of 140 miles
SV Driver turns car around and drives back (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesia's main road link with South Africa was closed on Monday (19 April) after African nationalists shot and killed three South African tourists and wounded a fourth.
The direct rail link between the two countries was also severed by a bomb, apparently also planted by nationalists. The line has since been re-opened.
The 180-mile long (288 kms) road between Beitbridge and Fort Victoria, both in Rhodesia, was closed by the local authorities after the shootings and traffic was diverted 140 miles (224 kms) around the scene.
An official communique said all of those shot were motorcyclists. It said the nationalists were robbing the occupants of three cars when the motorcyclists arrived. Another car arrived shortly afterwards and one of the armed occupants opened fire on the Africans, who fled.
A major search is underway for those responsible for the shooting, who are believed to be heading towards the Mozambique border. Reports from the Rhodesian capital of Salisbury say between 15 and 20 men took part in the foray.
The road and rail attacks were the first major African nationalist operations in the south-east region of Rhodesia. They have caused shock and anger among Rhodesia's white population, which until now regarded the South African Highway as a "safe route".
SYNOPSIS: Some observers are quoted by Reuters as speculating that the black nationalists may now try to complete an economic stranglehold by striking in force at Rhodesia's links with South Africa.
Security forces estimate there are some tow hundred nationalists in the such-ext thousand massed further north in Mozambique.