The terrorist campaign against British
rule in Aden and the 16 sheikhdoms of its
hinterland grouped together into the
South Arabian Federation began in
December, 1963. After two years of
mounting violence, the British government
announced that it would grant independence
to the Federation no later than
1968 and that it would then abandon its
military base in Aden for good. Meanwhile,
it appealed to all sides for restraint.
Determined to achieve independence immediately and on their own terms, the two main terrorist groups reacted by plunging into further bloodshed against the British and each other. On one side stood the Egyptian-backed Front for the Liberation of South Yemen (F.L.O.S.Y: ). On the other was ranged the fanatically Marxist National Liberation' Front (N.L.F.). And in between was the British soldier - and his family. Women and children were fair game for . terrorist bullets and bombs no less than troops. Senior government officials were also warned in a F.L.O.S.Y. broadcast that they would be "shot one by one, like dogs." Rioting and arson accompanied. the shooting and bombing, and schools, churches and synagogues went up in flames. Unwilling to spend more lives for the privilege of being an imperialist Aunt Sally, Britain announced that she was hurrying forward independence day to November 30, 1967.
This picture shows motorists being searched for illegal arms in the Ma'alla district of Aden during the final days of British rule.
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