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Attack on St Alberts School
Part of Rhodesian Bush War
Type Kidnapping
Planned by unknown
Target St Alberts School
Date July 1973
Executed by Flag of ZANU-PF.svg ZANLA
Outcome 284 students and staff rescued, 8 students and teachers remained in cadres hands.
Casualties unknown killed

The Attack on St Alberts School was an attack carried out on the Catholic mission high school, which is in Mashonaland Central province of Rhodesia overlooking the Zambezi Valley in east of the country close to the border with Mozambique. The attack was carried out by the ZANLA.


Saint Alberts High School is a coeducational Roman Catholic Church mission high school that also provides boarding for students. It is situated in the Mashonaland Central province of Rhodesia, on the escarpment overlooking the Zambezi Valley in northern Zimbabwe near the Mozambique border. It is above this escarpment which is also popularly known as the Mavhuradonha Mountain range. The Valley below is also known as Dande. St. Alberts is located in a pristine area between Mount Darwin and Centenary, in a region of temperate weather.

The AttackEdit

In July 1973, Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) cadres captured 292 pupils and staff from the school and force-marched them north towards Mozambique, where the ZANLA bases were. The march was intercepted by the Rhodesian Security Forces before the cadres crossed the border, and all but eight of the children and staff were recovered.[1]

Similar abductions were repeated over the following years and the security forces found themselves increasingly unable to prevent them.[2] The captured schoolchildren would be marched to ZANLA bases in Mozambique where they would undergo "political 're-education'" (Abbott's and Botham's words[3]) and guerrilla training. The school was closed in the late 1970s at the height of the Rhodesian Bush War. It had become a haven for the recruitment of communist backed terrorists.


  1. Cilliers, Jackie (December 1984). Counter-Insurgency in Rhodesia. London, Sydney & Dover, New Hampshire: Croom Helm. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7099-3412-7. 
  2. Cilliers 1984, p. 17
  3. Abbott & Botham 1986, p. 12

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