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Rebel Base Taken, Mozambique Says

November 29, 1987|From Reuters

MAPUTO, Mozambique — Security forces have captured a major rebel base near the border with South Africa, the official AIM news agency said Saturday.

It quoted army headquarters as saying government troops overran the Mozambican National Resistance base at Matsequenha on Wednesday, killing more than 100 rebels and capturing eight others and large quantities of arms.

"After two days of tough fighting we stormed the base at 3 p.m. on Wednesday," said Maj. Paulino Macaringue, who commanded the four-day operation against the base in the western Namaacya district.

The offensive against the camp, two miles from the South African border and 45 miles west of the capital, Maputo, began last Sunday.

Macaringue admitted that the operation was hindered by the hilly terrain of the base and its proximity to South Africa. He said the rebels had fled into South Africa in past offensives against their bases.

Macaringue said South African warplanes overflew Mozambican military positions in the area.

"I think they were on reconnaissance missions in order to warn the bandit leaders whether they should pull out," he said.

He said the offensive was continuing against the rebels, suspected of two massacres in October.

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