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7 S. Africans Found Dead in Black Vs. Black Clash

March 17, 1987|United Press International

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Seven teen-agers apparently murdered in black-against-black violence were found buried today in a shallow grave, police said.

The five boys and two girls, who were between the ages of 15 and 17, had been stabbed and shot, police Capt. Bob Sanker told reporters in Durban.

"We think the children were murdered because they defied a boycott at two schools in (the black township of) Kwamashu," he said.

Township residents, however, said they believed the victims were members of the United Democratic Front, the nation's largest legal opposition movement. They said the front called for a boycott at the township's two segregated high schools to protest the cost of books.

Residents said Kwamashu had been ravaged lately by bloody clashes between front radicals and supporters of the moderate Inkatha political movement, which opposes anti-government boycotts.

They said large numbers of police and soldiers arrived in armored trucks after the bodies were discovered. A police helicopter ferried senior officers to the scene. The residents said the township was tense and schools remained empty.

In violence elsewhere, police today shot and killed a suspected African National Congress guerrilla and saboteurs blew up a rail line and a van, government information officials said.

The suspected National Congress fighter was shot when officers raided a house early today in Newtown, a black township in Natal province. A black woman also was killed by a grenade police threw when they were fired on from inside the house, a police spokesman said.

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