Tuesday, August 3, 1999 Published at 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
More shooting in rebellious region
Wounded soldiers were flown to hospital (Photo: Henry van Rooi, The Namibian)
Sporadic gunfire was heard throughout Monday night as the Namibian army fought back a rebellion in the north-eastern Caprivi region.
President Sam Nujoma of Namibia declared a state of emergency in the area, after heavy fighting broke out on Monday between security forces and separatist rebels.
The United States embassy has withdrawn all its peace corps volunteers and other foreign embassies were following suit, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported from the town.
A government spokesman said eight of the rebels had been taken prisoner.
The rebels of the Caprivi Liberation Front launched their armed secessionist movement last year, but the recent violence was their first known attack.
Link to Angola conflict?
The independent newspaper The Namibian quoted eyewitnesses as saying the rebels wore uniforms similar to those of Unita.
The government last year launched an offensive against the separatists in Caprivi after discovering one of their training camps.
In the ensuing flushing-out operation more than 2,000 people fled into Botswana.
There they were granted asylum, in a move which angered the Namibian Government.
The strip of land was incorporated into the colony of German South-West Africa in the 19th century, the colonists hoping to profit from access to the Zambezi river.
In the 1970s and 1980s, under South African rule, the Caprivi became a militarised zone from which the South African army launched attacks on the Angolan-based Swapo, which was then fighting for Namibian independence.
Is secession the answer to Africa's minority struggles? Are secessionist movements justified in their struggles for self-determination? Or is it a fight that can never be won?