In the Western Sahara, the Polisario Front has shown western news crews captured Moroccan and Mauritanian soldiers and equipment as the fight for an independent Saharan republic continues.
GV: line of captured vehicles with prisoners in background.
LV AND SV: row of prisoners watched by Polisario guard (2 shots)
SV AND CU PAN: Prisoners PAN DOWN one.
CU: prisoner talks to reporter in French.
SV: captured vehicle flying Polisario flag.
CU; Mauritanian flag printed on vehicle with Polisario soldier seated at machine gun (2 shots)
LV: captured field gun.
SV: newsman looking at captured mortars and machine gun.
SV: mortar shells and machine guns on display. (2 shots)
SV: newsman looking at pile of captured rifles.
SV AND CU: fuel tank and helmet from shot-down Moroccan plane. (2 shots)
SV: Polisario guard watches as newsmen walk around site.
Moroccan commands are now fighting with the regular Mauritanian forces and France has supplied "military advisors" and logistic support forces to them, plus new equipment to Morocco. Recently, Morocco has been taking delivery of 50 French built F-1 combat aircraft. Most military gains by the Polisario have been against Mauritania which has only small regular army.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In the Western Sahara, the Polisario Front has shown western news crews captured Moroccan and Mauritanian soldiers and equipment as the fight for an independent Saharan republic continues.
SYNOPSIS: These are men of the regular Moroccan and Mauritanian armed forces who have been engaged in a long war against the Polisario Front. Despite the intervention of the French aircraft in recent weeks against it, the Polisario claims it is still gaining ground. It should off these prisoners at Tindouf in Algeria to prove its effectiveness.
This prisoner was allowed to speak to reporters. He described his capture and treatment.
The prisoner said he was a Moroccan from Marrakech and had been held by the Polisario Front since being captured in a desert ambush a year ago, as he and his detachment were bringing supplies to other troops from a town called Smara.
The prisoner, one of over a thousand the Polisario claims to hold, said he had eaten the same food as Saharan refugees during his captivity.
Two years ago, the Polisario declared the Western Sahara the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic which has been recognised as an independent nation by nine African nations including the Libyan Jamahiriyah and Algeria.
There is also sympathy among certain Western nations. A United Nations fact-finding commission recently ruled in favour the Saharan people's right to self-determination.
These weapons, on show top newsman, are offered as proof of Polisario claims to continuing success despite mounting French military aid to Morocco and Mauritania.