INTRODUCTION: The Moroccan army is maintaining its vigil along the security belt it has been building in the Western Sahara to protect the territory's main cities --Smara, the phosphate mines of Bu-Craa and the capital of El-Aayun.
GV Landrover containing Moroccan troops passes line of artillery field pieces ZOOM IN TO SV
GV Helicopter landing
GV Helicopters taxiing for take-off
SV Troops with field wireless near vehicle (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Field gun TO another field gun (3 shots)
GV PAN Field guns and crew
SV Machine gun post (2 shots)
(NATURAL SOUND) GV People outside polling station at Dakhla
CU Women looking at voting papers outside station
SV People queueing to vote
SV INTERIOR Officials handing out papers
CU Woman putting paper into ballot box
CU Woman picking up papers
CU PAN FROM Officials TO woman voter (2 shots)
SV Man voting
GV People leaving polling station
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Moroccan army is maintaining its vigil along the security belt it has been building in the Western Sahara to protect the territory's main cities --Smara, the phosphate mines of Bu-Craa and the capital of El-Aayun. The 800 kilometres (500-mile) line runs from the southern Moroccan garrison of Zag, near the Algerian border, to Smara. Meanwhile, Morocco has held parliamentary elections in the southern region of the former Spanish Sahara, which it annexed in 1979.
SYNOPSIS: Moroccan military authorities have reported that Polisario guerrillas, who were said to have started raiding further south in the Western Sahara earlier in May, were still in the Smara area. The desert line is equipped with sensors supplied by the United States. These are monitored from the air by helicopter gunships, Mirage F-1 aircraft, U.S. Northrop F-5s and recently-acquired Rockwell OV-10 Bronco counter- insurgency aircraft.
Military experts say King Hassan of Morocco faces an expanding war on two fronts. His major worry, they say, is the growing participation of Mauritania, the territory's southern neighbour on the side of the Polisario Front guerrillas. Previously, Mauritania had fought alongside the Moroccans against the guerrillas but, two years ago, withdrew from the war, virtually ceding its part of the territory to the Polisario.
In the small coastal town of Dakhla, residents voted on Friday (29 May) to elect three deputies to the Moroccan House of Representatives for the first time since they came under Moroccan rule.
Two of the deputies will represent Dakhla, and the third will represent La Guera, on the southernmost tip of the Western Sahara, which has remained under Mauritanian administration as a buffer zone protecting the port of Nouadhibou.
Dakhla is the main township of the sparsely-populated southern region, which the Moroccans renamed Wadi-ed-Dahab after the Mauritanians withdrew from the war. Morocco regards this region as a "recovered Saharan province, along with the northern part, which it took over from Spain in 1976. Voting here coincided with a meeting of the Organisation of African Unity's (OAU) committee on the Western Sahara, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This conference was to prepare a report for the organisation's summit meeting in Nairobi in June.