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Frag Out! Magazine #34

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morale. On August 24th, the Kabarebe's forces attack Kisangulu again, and then they are pushed away by the SAS and by BAe Hawks. Kabarebe then changes his plan, deciding to change the direc- tion of the offensive and neutralize the ZDF's aviation, and taking over the N'Djili airfield. He knows that ZDF's defense line is shallow, suffers from ammunition shortage, and thus continuity of defen- sive line is dubious. The attack takes place on August 25th, in the morning. Nonetheless, thanks to Gen. Nyanbuya's tactics, assuming that small SAS and pa- ratrooper squads are dispersed around Kinshasa to delay the progress of the rebels, and act as JTACs, the offensive is hampered. In the evening the rebels are 25 km from Kinshasa and, still, 40 km from the airfield. In the evening, urgently called reinforcements, another 1,000 pa- ratroopers, arrive - coming directly from Harare. On August 26th Kabarebe uses another trick, loudly sending a column of rebels to take over Kabila's residence in the suburbs (Kabila had come back to Kinshasa a few days before). He also sends a column of Rwandan forces to- wards the airfield, covertly, without any attention focused on this move. Using the original infiltration techniques, they manage to take over the western sec- tion of the runway, the terminal, and all hangars in the south, without the ZDF noticing that. The Zimbabwe soldiers notice the rebels by accident. They stop the Cascavela's attack from around 100 meters, using heavy fire. The Rwandan forces did not manage to take over the control tower that was defended by the SAS snipers. This plays a key role later, as the building overlooks the whole area and allows the operators to control the whole runway. The ZDF command im- mediately withdraws its soldiers from Kinshasa's surroundings and orders them to protect the hangar housing the aircraft, as well as the eastern section of the runway. All Zimbabwean aircraft and helicopters take off immediately, using only a short, eastern section of the 4.7 km long runway. The BAe Hawk pilots at- tack the Rwandan forces flying a pattern over the airfield, dropping bombs on the first pass, landing, rearming, and taking off immediately (doing everything in a hot-pit setting). CF 337 Lynx pilots utilize similar tactics. In the afternoon, on Aug. 26th, Kabila is evacuated by ZDF from his residence to N'Dijli, and, taking fire from the rebels, leaves for Lubumbashi, using the Presidential jet. Another heavy attack against ZDF takes place on the morning of Aug. 27th. Here, the last 13 combat-ready Type 59 and Type 62 MBTs are used. By 10 AM they are destroyed or damaged by the SAS operators, and by the Hawks. The fighting stops, due to the omnipresent heat. The offensive is resumed in the afternoon - but without any effect. Both sides stay where they were, nonetheless, Kabarebe no longer has heavy weapons at his disposal. On August 28th ZDF commanders launch a counter-attack. It does not take them long to take over the main terminal of the airport. Then, a wave of bombing ra- ids weakens the defenders, forcing them to fall back and take positions beyond a small river that goes around the west side of the runway. On August 29th the

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