South Africa: Bringing the War to Whites

A surge in violence dims prospects for the new year

As scenes of terrorist carnage unfolded in Vienna and Rome, a spasm of racial violence shattered seasonal hopes of peace and goodwill across South Africa. For the country's whites, all signs appeared to point to a new and ominous phase of killing, one that seemed to bear out recent warnings by the outlawed African National Congress (A.N.C.) that "soft" targets--meaning unarmed civilians, including whites--would no longer be off limits. Nonetheless, blacks suffered the brunt of the year-end violence. At least five people died in the township of Soweto, as militants fought with migrant workers who refused to observe a "black Christmas"...

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