Fighting intensifies in Angola

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

LUANDA (Reuter) - The battle for Huambo intensified yesterday as government and Unita forces slugged it out for control of Angola's badly battered second city. UN officials tried to contact Unita to set up fresh talks on reviving the tattered 1991 peace accords, but the special UN representative, Margaret Anstee, said she did not know where Jonas Savimbi, the rebel leader, was.

Heavy fighting on Tuesday killed nearly 60 people in Huambo, - 16 civilians, 39 Unita men and three government soldiers - state-run media reported. They said Unita had bolstered its forces in the city, where diplomats reported that the government had gained some ground over the past week. Ms Anstee said she was trying to get in touch with Unita to organise peace talks originally planned for yesterday in Addis Ababa. 'The government is ready for dialogue and we are waiting to see when the next round will be held,' Ms Anstee said.