The Guardian 6 November 1975
FNLA Attack on Luanda Halted, 'Mercenary Leader Killed'
Portuguese Mercenaries and FNLA troops after the abortive attack on Luanda (Rueters)
Sources in the Angolan capital of Luanda allege that a CIA backed offensive by troops loyal to the Angolan National Liberation Front (FNLA) has been halted. A spokesman for the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a Marxist organisation with Soviet support, stated that heavy fighting only 20 miles from Luanda had led to the total defeat of the FNLA and its 'mercenary led' army. 'The FNLA attacked two days ago and MPLA cadre fought a series of defensive battles to secure the capital. The FNLA forces were made up of mercenaries and troops supplied by the President of Zaire in support of his brother in law, the CIA puppet Holden Roberto' he said.
Unconfimed reports from Kinshasa state that the commander of the FNLA forces in the attack, the Anglo-Mercenary Carlo Shannon, was killed by a booby trap in the town of Caxito, as he led his men in 'desperate' street fighting.
A Portuguese businessman, Jose Ronaldo, crossed the front lines late yesterday and provided an eye witness account of the fighting as he waited to be evacuated by air to Lisbon by his government. 'By midday yesterday the FNLA had stopped moving forward,' he said. 'The noise of the fighting had died down and they seemed to be re-grouping.'
Mr Ronaldo said that former Portuguese army officers fighting with the FNLA alleged that Cuban troops were involved in the battles of the last few days. 'They told me the Cubans fought hard and were using heavy weapons, including rocket launchers,' he said.
Havana has confirmed that it has a 'military mission' in Luanda that is providing 'fraternal support' to the MPLA, but denies that its troops have been in combat. (Rueters)
FNLA and former Portuguese army officers on the road to Luanda (Rueters)