FAPLA had apparently decided to move the rocket launchers to their effective firing range of six kilometres. What they did not know, however, was that stopper groups were waiting, and when these opened fire, chaos erupted within the FAPLA ranks. Radio intercepts showed that the brigade commander was arranging an organized withdrawal to the north as the first gunfire was heard from that direction, and he apparently decided it was wise to proceed with this plan. As the first convoy of 29 vehicles loaded with troops was reported to be leaving the base, Ferreira ordered the Bosbok spotter aircraft, with his second-in-command Major Eddie Viljoen aboard, to fly in from Omauni and report on the enemy withdrawal from the air.
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