Following a meeting in the Mozambican port of Beira which ended on Sunday (18 December), the leaders of four front line African states-President Kerneth Kaunda of Zambia, President Samora Machel of Mozambique, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and President Agostinho Neto of Angola-confirmed their support for the Patriotic Front guerrilla movement as the sole party in an independent Zimbabwe.
LV: Village with smoke rising.
GV: Burning debris.
CU: Burnt body.
GV & SV PAN: Wrecked vehicles. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: Burnt out shells of lorries. (TWO SHOTS)
GV & SV: Shed with body inside.
GV & SV: Bodies lying beside burnt out ambulance. (THREE SHOTS)
GV: Smouldering buildings with bodies in the streets. (FIVE SHOTS)
CU PAN: Along dead body.
GV: Dead bodies scattered amongst debris.
GV & CU PAN: Bodies piled into grave. (THREE SHOTS)
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Background: Following a meeting in the Mozambican port of Beira which ended on Sunday (18 December), the leaders of four front line African states-President Kerneth Kaunda of Zambia, President Samora Machel of Mozambique, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and President Agostinho Neto of Angola-confirmed their support for the Patriotic Front guerrilla movement as the sole party in an independent Zimbabwe. The Patriotic Front's two leaders, Joshua Nkomo and Rebert Mugabe, recently spurned invitations to attend settlement talks in Rhodesia with Prime Minister Ian Smith, and criticised the Rhodesian army for killing innocent women and children in last month's attacks on camps in Mozambique.
SYNOPSIS: This camp-situated near the town of Chimoio 130 kilometres (80 miles) inside Mozambique, on the main road from Umtali to the Indian Ocean port of Beira-was attacked on 23 November. Rhodesian forces claim it was a base for Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, (ZANLA) and stressed that the raid was part of a major operation against nationalist guerrillas operating from camps inside Mozambique. However the Mozambican authorities have denied this, and maintain that the camp was inhabited by refugees who fled the land of their birth. Furthermore. they said that many of those killed in the raid were women and children, the families of ZANLA guerrillas, but nevertheless innocent civilians.
So far there have been conflicting reports as to how many people were killed in the raid. A Rhodesian Defence Ministry Communique has claimed that several hundred guerrillas were killed.
On the other hand the official Mozambique news agency (AIM) put the figure more conservatively at "around 80" It also accused the Rhodesians of committing a series of atrocities, and claimed that women and children had been shot while attending an out-patients clinic, and while attending school classes. The Rhodesian Combined Operations Headquarters have strongly denied these charges and have said that their troops attacked only armed guerrillas. But whatever the true story, the result has been for the Patriotic Front to withdraw itself from the negotiations initiated by the Anglo-American proposals, and to pledge a commitment towards more fighting and less talking in its struggle against Rhodesia.