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Guerrillas Kill 5 in Attacks on Security Patrols

July 06, 1986|MICHAEL PARKS | Times Staff Writer

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Black insurgents, in two bold attacks on government security patrols, shot and killed five men and wounded 12 Saturday. Two of the guerrillas were reported killed by police in a later gun battle.

Three insurgents, armed with Soviet-designed AK-47 assault rifles, first attacked a six-man security patrol shortly after midnight in Vosloorus, a black township about 15 miles southeast of Johannesburg, killing two and wounding three, according to the government information bureau.

Driving the same model and color of car used by South Africa's security police, they attacked two more local government patrols about 90 minutes later in Katlehong, another ghetto township in the same area, the bureau said, and killed three local security personnel there and wounded nine others. All the casualties were local black government employees.

Car Flips Over

About 3 a.m., police spotted the insurgents' car in Katlehong and chased it through township streets, firing at it, until the driver lost control and the car flipped over. Two insurgents fled and were killed by police fire, and a third escaped.

The attacks, presumed to have been carried out by guerrillas of the outlawed African National Congress, were the most daring in the series of assaults and bombings since President Pieter W. Botha's declaration June 12 of a national state of emergency that black militants took as tantamount to a declaration of war on them.

Local black officials and policemen have been among the insurgents' primary targets from the outset of the unrest nearly two years ago, and the white-led government's reported widespread recruitment of right-wing vigilantes within many black communities has intensified the conflict there in recent months.

Two more blacks were killed elsewhere in separate incidents, according to the government information bureau.

Show of Strength

Later Saturday, the government turned a military parade marking the 100th anniversary of Johannesburg into a massive show of strength that, at the same time, underlined the current security threats here.

Eight battalions of troops, bayonets fixed on their rifles, marched through the center of Johannesburg accompanied by tanks, armored cars and field guns, while warplanes flew overhead in a demonstration of military might.

But hundreds more police and soldiers were needed for an intense security operation to ensure the safety of the parading troops and the crowds that gathered to watch.

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