As the North Vietnamese attacks continue along all fronts in South Vietnam, Government forces were battling on Thursday and Friday (April 6-7) to hold off the invading troops trying to break through the defences of Dong Ha north of Saigon.
LV & CU Tank firing (2 shots)
SV & GV Troops firing mortars and explosion (2 shots)
LV & CU Troops running for cover (2 shots)
SV & CU Wounded pressmen helped to car (4 shots)
SV Pressman (wounded in head) carried to car.
SV Other wounded carried on stretcher and put into ambulance. (2 shots)
LV & CU Vehicles over damaged section of highway - soldiers and others watching (4 shots)
LV & CU South Vietnamese Military Police checking traffic on outskirts of Saigon (5 shots)
TANKS FIRING: TROOPS FIRING MORTARS & RUNNING FOR COVER: WOUNDED PRESSMEN & OTHERS HELPED INTO CARS & AMBULANCE: VEHICLES ALONG DAMAGED HIGHWAY - TROOPS WATCHING: MILITARY POLICE CHECKING TRAFFIC IN OUTSKIRTS OF SAIGON.
Initials VS/21.01 VS/21.15
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As the North Vietnamese attacks continue along all fronts in South Vietnam, Government forces were battling on Thursday and Friday (April 6-7) to hold off the invading troops trying to break through the defences of Dong Ha north of Saigon. During the Thursday battle, a mortar exploded near a group of foreign correspondents, injuring six of them. Our film shows some of the action, and the correspondents and other wounded being helped into vehicles for the return to Saigon.
In the second part of the film, we show some of the increasingly tighter security measures being taken by Military Police in the Capital - at present depleted of reserve troops, most of which have had to move into the field of action in the North. All vehicles are being thoroughly checked - even military ones - as they stream South away from the embattled areas.
SYNOPSIS: South Vietnamese tanks defending Dong Ha, north of Saigon, as North Vietnamese troops - during their push south - try to break through the Government defenses on Thursday. South Vietnamese troops - who blew up the Dong Ha River bridge last week to stop the Communist armoured vehicle advance - claimed to have killed sixty enemy soldiers attacking the town on foot.
Six foreign correspondents were injured when an enemy mortar shell exploded near a South Vietnamese tank. Although at first it was though some had suffered serious injuries - it was later reported that their wounds were not grave and, while four were returned to Saigon with other military wounded, two remained in Dong Ha after receiving field treatment. South Vietnamese claimed their own casualties were light - but as the Communist offensive developed on several fronts, the South Vietnamese ability to stand without direct U.S. military support was being put to a severe test.
Highways approaching Saigon are badly damaged in many areas - some through Communist bombardments and sabotage, such as this one fifty miles northwest of the capital; others blown up by Government forces in an attempt to slow the North Vietnamese advances.
On the outskirts of Saigon, security has gone into an even stricter phase - with Military Police thoroughly checking all traffic, including military vehicles, as they streamed away from the embattled areas south of the Demilitarized Zone. A curfew has also been imposed on the city - at present sorely depleted of reserve forces,f with even President Thieu's Palace Guard having been sent into action at An Loc.