Since the escalation of the war along Rhodesia's border with Mozambique when Frelimo troops joined black Rhodesian nationalists in attacking the white minority-ruled country, both sides have been digging in following rocket and mortar attacks by the Mozambiquans across the border.
GV PAN FROM border to soliders
SV and GV soldier with gun in hand advances into position (2 shots)
GV soldiers through bush (2 shots)
GV and SV soldiers digging (2 shots)
GV Tractor removing felled trees and then tractor being unloaded (2 shots)
SV soldiers placing logs into position TILT DOWN TO machine gun being loaded
CU Rhodesia border post sign at Selinda ZOOM INTO Rhodesian flag at camp on hill
CU Rhodesian flag PULL OUT TO camp with soldiers digging in
SV ZOOM INTO CU heavy calibre machine gun
SV and GV soldier watching Frelimo soldiers along road
CU soldiers cleaning equipment (2 shots)
CU soldiers looking at maps PULL OUT TO GV of camp
GV Frelimo soldiers in distance
CU soldier using land phone and speaking
LV troops (Frelimo) on road
CU soldier looking through gunsight as Frelimo troops advance into village PULL OUT to camp
"Roger -- are their troops milling around or are they just hanging fire -- sitting tight?" "They're moving into positions. Most of them are in position at the moment".
"Roger. The numbers of these troops at the moment we???es estimate at thirty plus"
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Since the escalation of the war along Rhodesia's border with Mozambique when Frelimo troops joined black Rhodesian nationalists in attacking the white minority-ruled country, both sides have been digging in following rocket and mortar attacks by the Mozambiquans across the border.
SYNOPSIS: By Tuesday (15 June) the two sides were consolidating their position only a few hundred yards from each other. The Rhodesians moved in strength into the area around the Mount Selinda border crossing following Frelimo rocket and mortar attacks last week on the remote outpost. One attack, on Monday (14 June), lasted for three hours. A few days earlier, Rhodesian jet aircraft attacked and destroyed mortar positions and an ammunition dump, but Frelimo quickly regrouped to continue the bombardments. Infantrymen from both sides have exchanged small-arms fire across the frontier, but casualty figures for the engagements earlier this week were not revealed by either country. Reporters said they appeared to be slight. Meanwhile, the Rhodesians brought in heavy equipment to fortify their entrenchments -- using as much of the heavily-wooded countryside as they could to stave off rocket and mortar shells.
So far, although tight Rhodesian Government security on the extent of the border war makes it difficult to assess the overall position, it appears that the frelimo forces are content to stay on their side of the border harassing Rhodesian forces in sporadic attacks, while leaving black Rhodesian nationalist guerrillas to infiltrate the country and carry out hit and run raids -- mostly on civilian targets. By the beginning of the week the Rhodesian security forces death toll so far this year was 43, with a claimed 318 guerrillas killed in the same period. Details of Frelimo casualties since Mozambique stepped into the war have not been available but are thought to be light. From their current positions only a few hundred yards apart, opposing forces can clearly see each other.
Between the border battles, both sides are busy consolidating their positions and planning further strategy -- with the rhodesians concentrating on defence rather than attack, and keeping as close a watch of Frelimo's movements as possible
Since the guerrilla war began in carnets in December 2972, Rhodesian security forces claim they have killed just over a thousand guerrillas for the loss of 118 soldiers. Recently, call-up of reservists has been increased -- with part-time soldiers spending up to half their time on active service backing the country's regular 10,000 soldiers.