INTRODUCTION Rhodesian security forces are still searching for guerrillas who killed seven white Roman Catholic missionaries on Sunday night (6 February).
INTRODUCTION Rhodesian security forces are still searching for guerrillas who killed seven white Roman Catholic missionaries on Sunday night (6 February). The three priests and four nuns who were killed were all roused from their beds in the middle of the night and shot.
SYNOPSIS: The killings happened at the Musami Jesuit mission about 40 miles (64 kilometres) north-east of Salisbury, the capital. It is the largest mission in Rhodesia and includes a secondary school, two convents, a hospital and a teacher's training college. About two thousand people live here - including four hundred school children.
White members of the mission were rounded up and taken into this road, where the massacre took place.
The local district commissioner was asked about the bullets which killed the missionaries.
Reporters were told by police more than a hundred spent cartridges were found at the scene. There were also blood stains still visible on the road.
The bodies were taken from the mission by Rhodesian soldiers. There was only one white survivor, who flung himself to the ground as the shooting started, and escaped unhurt.
Most of the members of the mission are black, and work closely with the local people.
The grief among the black mission workers was evident.
Archbishop Chakaipa - Rhodesia's first black Catholic Archbishop - later condemned the killings. He said those who were responsible for the crimes made a mockery of whatever good ideals they claimed to serve.
Although there was no apparent motive for the killings, they co came in an area where there has recently been a lot of guerrilla activity.