Khmer Government troops are continuing their sweeping operations on Highway Six north of Phnom Penh, despite heavy losses in the area.
Refugees along road in oxcarts (2 shots)
SV Barricade across road PAN TO debris and burned out buildings (2 shots)
SV PAN Burned out houses
SV Lt. Col. Young Yok Hang studying map
LV B-52 bombers overhead
SV Troops along road
LV B-52's overhead
SV Troops patrol road
Initials BB/2355 TA/AS/BB/2232
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Background: Khmer Government troops are continuing their sweeping operations on Highway Six north of Phnom Penh, despite heavy losses in the area.
Field officers have estimated that more than 200 Government troops have been killed in the past week. Many of them were killed in fierce fighting near two newly-liberated villages 60 miles (100 Kms) north of the capital city.
The recent rescue operations salvaged some prestige--lost with the collapse of the Government's massive campaign earlier this month to clear the strategic highway to the northern areas of the Khmer Republic.
SYNOPSIS: Refugees began moving out of villages near Highway Six in the Khmer Republic on Sunday following heavy fighting as Government troops continued sweeping operations. The Khmer forces have suffered heavy losses over the past week after fierce fighting along the Highway north of Phnom Penh. The recent operations have salvaged some of the prestige lost with the collapse of the Government's massive campaign earlier this month to clear the strategic Highway to the northern areas of the Khmer Republic. Taing Kauk was the starting point of the campaign launched four months ago. The Khmers advanced 25 miles along the Highway before fierce Communist assaults forced them to fall back.
Earlier this week, troops had discovered the bodies of at least ten soldiers near a burned out village, only a few yards from Highway Six. The area commander, Lieutenant Colonel Young Yok Hang was forced to order his men to take cover during heavy rocket assaults from Communist positions. American B-52 bombers were called in to strike at the entrenched Communists before the troops could finally begin to move forward again.
Troops are reported to have told newsmen that the Communist fire has been so heavy in recent weeks that they had not been able to move to bury their dead.