HC Deb 27 June 1956 vol 555 cc44-5W
75. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the recent operations in the mountains of south-west Cyprus, including the number of casualties suffered and inflicted by the security forces, and of prisoners captured.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The operation consisted of an extensive sweep by security forces through the mountains and forests of the Troodos area, carried out by units of the Royal Marine commandos, the Army, the R.A.F. and the Cyprus police. It resulted in the capture of a complete E.O.K.A. gang and of quantities of weapons, ammunition, food, clothing, and documents. Other E.O.K.A. gangs in the area were seriously disrupted and Grivas, the terrorist leader, narrowly escaped capture.

E.O.K.A. losses were seven men captured, including two leading terrorists. Among the security forces there were no casualties directly caused by E.O.K.A., but I regret that, as the House knows, 21 soldiers lost their lives and 16 were injured as a result of a disastrous forest fire.

The security forces engaged in this operation displayed endurance and tenacity of a high order. The result has been a severe blow to E.O.K.A. and a substantial step towards the restoration of law and order in Cyprus.