Air Rhodesia Flight 825 was a passenger flight that was shot down by the
Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) on 3 September 1978, during
the Rhodesian Bush War. The aircraft, a Vickers Viscount, was flying Air
Rhodesia’s scheduled service from Victoria Falls to the capital
Salisbury, via the resort town of Kariba. Soon after its takeoff, ZIPRA
guerrillas launched a Soviet-made Strela 2 surface-to-air missile at the
plane. Attempting a belly landing in a cotton field west of Karoi, the
plane hit an unseen ditch, cartwheeled, and exploded. Of the 52
passengers and four crew, 38 died in the crash. The insurgents then
massacred 10 survivors with automatic gunfire. Joshua Nkomo, the ZIPRA
leader, publicly claimed responsibility for the missile attack (but not
for the massacre) on the BBC’s Today programme the same evening, saying
the aircraft had been used for military purposes. Most Rhodesians, black
and white, saw the attack as an act of terrorism. Martial law and a
fierce white Rhodesian backlash followed, even though few black
Rhodesians supported the attack. Five months later, ZIPRA shot down Air
Rhodesia Flight 827 in a similar incident.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Arab–Byzantine wars: The Byzantine Empire decisively defeated
the Emirate of Melitene in the Battle of Lalakaon, beginning the era of
Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England in
The Peace of Paris formally ended the states of war between
United States, France, Spain and Great Britain.
The Holocaust: SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch first used
the pesticide Zyklon B to execute Soviet POWs en masse at Auschwitz;
eventually it was used to kill about 1.2 million people.
A fire killed 25 people locked inside a burning chicken
processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, US.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
A witness who gives evidence of what he or she has heard.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
An architect, to be a true exponent of his time, must possess
first, last and always the sympathy, the intuition of a poet … this is
the one real, vital principle that survives through all places and all
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