NORTH AFRICA: Armor at the Oasis

After months of increasing tension and in spite of anguished pleas from five Arab chiefs of state, Algeria and Morocco last week were on the brink of war for control of the former Spanish Sahara. By week's end a sharp and bloody battalion-level battle near the oasis of Amgala (see map) had apparently ended in Morocco's favor. Reports from the scene were sketchy, but the Algerian press service spoke of "violent combat," while Moroccan officials, claiming victory, conceded "many dead."

Wrestling for the barren but phosphate-rich former Spanish colony (103,000 sq. mi.,...

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