Fifty-two people have died in the latest wave of fighting and attacks in the Rhodesian bush war, according to security forces.
SV EXTERIOR Corrugated smouldering hut. (2 SHOTS)
CU Injured man lying in bed.
CU PULL BACK TO GV Remains of hut.
SV Troops standing around dead bodies. (9 SHOTS)
Gv & SV Troops looking at smouldering hut. (2 SHOTS)
Some reports said the labourers and children had been killed as a reprisal for ignoring warnings not to work on a white-owned farm. The massacre was the third atrocity against civilians blamed by the military on nationalist guerrillas within the past fortnight.
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Background: Fifty-two people have died in the latest wave of fighting and attacks in the Rhodesian bush war, according to security forces. The bodies of 14 Africans, five of them children were found on Saturday (1 July) night at Kudara farm, some 200 kilometres southeast of Salisbury. The bodies were shown to reporters on Sunday (2 July).
SYNOPSIS: Reuters news agency reported that the Kudara farm bridges two tribal reserves known to be heavily infiltrated by guerrillas opposed to the multi-racial "Internal Settlement" between white Premier Ian Smith and three black nationalist leaders.
Security forces said 12 black guerrillas first shelled and strafed the main farmhouse. Then when their fire was returned, they attacked the black labour compound. On Sunday (2 July), armed forces collected the bodies. The victims included a pregnant woman of 30 and five of her children, aged between two and 10. A spokesman said they were forced at gunpoint into their grass-roofed hut, which was then set on fire. He said that seven labourers were made to lie face-down and were riddled with bullets. A communique from Rhodesian security forces said black nationalist guerrillas also killed 16 black civilians in other areas, and that a white farmer was killed in a guerrilla ambush in northwest Rhodesia on Saturday (1 July).
The white farm-owner said he had been visiting his wife in hospital at the time of the attack. He now planned to give up the farm.