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  • The Baixa de Cassanje revolt is considered the first battle of the Angolan War of Independence and the Portuguese Colonial War. The uprising began on February 3, 1961 in the region of Baixa do Cassanje, district of Malanje, Portuguese Angola. By February 4, the Portuguese authorities had successfully suppressed the revolt. On January 3, agricultural workers employed by Cotonang, a Portuguese-Belgium cotton plantation company, staged a protest to force the company to improve their working conditions. The protest, which later became known as the Baixa de Cassanje revolt, was led by two previously unknown Angolans, António Mariano and Kulu-Xingu. During the protest, the Angolan workers burned their identification cards and physically attacked Portuguese traders on the company premises. The protest led to a general uprising, to which Portuguese authorities responded with an air raid on twenty villages in the area, killing large numbers of Angolan villagers. While the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola claimed that the air raid killed some ten thousand people, most estimates range from 400 to as many as 7,000 Angolans killed.