November 19, 1955
CYPRIOT ‘TERRORISTS:’ Nicosia, 18 – The first conflict by an organized group of Cypriot patriots against Field Marshal John Harding’s commandos took place today in mountain country near the mines of Mitsero, west of Nicosia. The Cypriot fighters, of which there were 15, armed with automatic rifles, revolvers and hand grenades, attacked the guards at the mine, a troupe consisting of 12 British soldiers, if one is to believe the British reports. Reuters downplayed the news. «Last night, there was a raid on a dynamite arsenal alongside the Mitsero mine west of Nicosia,» said Reuters. «The arsenal was guarded by 12 British soldiers, who were attacked by about 15 ‘terrorists’ armed with automatic rifles, revolvers and hand grenades. One soldier was injured by a gunshot wound to the head. After a battle lasting about 15 minutes, the attackers withdrew. It is not known whether any of them were injured. Three weeks ago about 1,000 sticks of dynamite were removed from the mine.» The semi-official British news agency indicated that the attack most likely has ushered in a new phase in the Cypriot struggle.