Americans and Europeans rescued from embattled Kolwezi arrived here yesterday describing a week of terror.
"The last seven days I spent lying on the floor on my home doing a lot of praying," said Methodist missionary Harold Amstutz of Portsmouth, Va.
Amstutz, a former Marine, said he had never seen fighting to compare with the battles in the streets of Kolwezi.
"There was artillery, mortar, rocket and small arms fire going off all the time and there were hand grenade fights in the streets.
The worst moment for Amstutz and his wife, came on Thursday.
"We had a narrow escape," he said. "The Katangese came looking for us, shouting, 'Missionary, missionary, where are you?' They were looking for me but they went to the wrong house."
The family's house had no water for six days and little electricity.
Another refugee whose family hid out in their home for a week was Othmar Provelli 40, from France. His family boiled water from their swimming pool to drink, he said.
"We all shut ourselves in our homes and hid to avoid being found and shot in the street," he said. "Bodies were littered all over the streets."
He added that the rebels "hunted down anything that was white particularly the French . . . I am sure they killed everyone they found."
The Katangans apparently were particulary angry with the French because of French assistance in putting down an unsuccessful rebellion last year.
"At the start, rebels came around asking for passports, 'a Belgian engineer said. "The Belgians were safe but several Frenchmen were taken away."
For the refugees who arrived here yesterday the arrival of the paratroopers was a joyful moment.