Peace force under fire in Angola

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LUANDA - United Nations aircraft came under fire in the embattled Angolan cities of Malange and Huambo yesterday as both the government and Unita rebels ignored guarantees they had given that the flights would be safe, writes Karl Maier.

Jonas Savimbi's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) had guaranteed that the World Food Programme (WFP) could send an aircraft to Malange, a besieged government- held city, to evacuate aid workers, but rebel gunners fired mortars at the airport as the aircraft was landing.

Five minutes after another WFP plane touched down in the rebel stronghold of Huambo, two government jets staged an air raid, dropping one bomb 600 metres from the airport. Two more fell in the town, which has been the target of government air raids for the past three days. The UN had received a guarantee from the government that its planes could land there safely.