Incident Summary:

05/05/2001: The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) attacked Caxito, Angola, in the Bengo Province. It was believed that UNITA attacked to destroy a bridge over the Dange River to disrupt the flow of good between the Zaire and Uige provinces. The attack resulted in the death of at least 76 civilians with another 20 injured and 120 kidnapped. At least 60 of the 120 kidnapped were students from the Development Aid of the People for the People. The Angolan Armed Forces rescued 21 of the kidnapped students six days after the attack. 19 rebels from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola were killed in the attack.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Angolan civilians in the town of Caxito
Nationality of Target Angola
Target Type: Transportation
Name of Entity Bridge
Specific Description Bridge over the Dange River
Nationality of Target Angola
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 120
US Hostages 0
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Twenty-one of the hostages were rescued six days after the attack. The fate of the remaining hostages is unknown. Casualty numbers for this incident conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the lowest reliableestimates are reported here. One report on the incident stated that there were 100 civilians killed in the attack. Another report on the same incident stated that 76 civilians were killed.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 95 Fatalities / 20 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 95
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 19
Total Number of Injured 20
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured Unknown
"Angolan Television reports on UNITA attack against Caxito," Luanda Televisao Publica de Angola, May 6, 2001.
"Angolan official discusses UNITA raid on Caxito," Luanda Radio Nacional de Angola, May 6, 2001.
"Angolan Army rescue 21 of 60 children kidnapped by UNITA after Caxito attack," Luanda Jornal de Angola (Internet Version-WWW), May 11, 2001.