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S. African Police Kill 10 Suspected Insurgents

July 11, 1986|Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Police said today they killed 10 suspected insurgents, four men in a fire fight in Cape province and six guerrillas in a gun battle near the Botswana border.

In the black township of Soweto, hundreds of black migrant workers and black residents clashed in running street battles today, witnesses said, and seven people were believed killed.

A police statement issued in Pretoria said officers stopped a car outside King William's Town in Cape province this morning. Four men came out firing guns and threw a hand grenade that did not detonate, the statement said.

Police said they shot one man to death on the spot. The others jumped back in the car and drove about 20 miles to Fort Jackson, where they met a roadblock. Two of the men fled into the bush and were shot and killed by police, while the fourth man was found dead in the car, police said.

Grenades Found in Car

They said one man was identified as an African National Congress guerrilla. The ANC is the main black organization fighting to end white domination in South Africa. Hand grenades and Soviet-made weapons were found in the car.

Police also reported killing six alleged ANC guerrillas in a gun battle near the border with Botswana, and alleged that the men entered from that black country. A seventh gunman may have been wounded, but escaped, police said.

Ronelle Henning of the state information bureau told a news conference that police killed or captured 20 other ANC guerrillas in the last month.

David Venter, another information bureau official, said anti-apartheid violence has declined since the nationwide state of emergency was imposed June 12.

He told a news conference in Pretoria that the number of violent incidents was down 77% last week from the first week of the state of emergency, adding, "During the past three weeks there has been a greater calm in South Africa than in any preceding period in the past year."

Mandela Rebuffs Howe

In another development, Winnie Mandela, wife of jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela, said today in Cape Town that he will not meet with Britain's foreign secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, who plans to visit South Africa this month.

Winnie Mandela said after visiting her husband in prison that there was "no point whatsoever" in a meeting with Howe, who will be on a mission for the Common Market. Mandela is serving a life sentence for a 1964 conviction of plotting sabotage.

In the black township of Soweto outside Johannesburg, street battles between about 1,200 migrant workers and residents broke out Thursday night, local sources said. The fighting reportedly had stopped by midday today, but the situation remained tense.

Witnesses said seven people were believed killed, including five Zulu residents at the Mzimlophe Hostel and two young black militants from the surrounding Meadowlands neighborhood.

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