Heavy fighting erupted again on Wednesday (5 June) as South Vietnamese Government troops moved to recapture the small village of An Dien, less than 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of Saigon.
LV An Dien village
GV Gunships firing rockets
MV Soldier in bunker
GV Troops crossing bridge (4 shots)
GV TRACKING SHOT Wounded soldiers
GV Soldiers running
GV Troops crossing the bridge
GV Viet Cong dead body (2 shots)
GV destroyed tanks (4 shots)
GV Captured Viet Cong (4 shots)
GV Troops waling through ruined village
GV PAN Shot of Rubble
Initials BB/1725 RJ/TK-AH/BB/1741
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Heavy fighting erupted again on Wednesday (5 June) as South Vietnamese Government troops moved to recapture the small village of An Dien, less than 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of Saigon. It is the latest action in the current communist campaign against the outer defences of the capital.
Both sides threw in tanks and artillery as well as infantry. The South Vietnamese also used aircraft which made dozens of strikes against suspected communist positions near the village.
The South Vietnamese recaptured the village on Tuesday, but came under heavy artillery fire trying to hold it. The Government forces claim to have killed some 400 communists in the action with only small losses themselves. The village itself has been virtually levelled by constant artillery and rocket attacks.
An Dien was over-run last month by the communists during a concerted attack on the outer defences of Saigon.
SYNOPSIS: The small village of An Dien, about 25 miles north of Saigon, is the latest victim of the continuing fighting in South Vietnam. Last month communist troops, pushing against the outer defences of Saigon, over-ran the village. On Tuesday, South Vietnamese troops counter attacked. They advanced into the village under the cover of air strikes.
The communists kept up artillery fire throughout the assault and a number of Government troops were wounded.
Both armies poured thousands of rounds of mortar shells, rockets and artillery fire on each other's positions. The Saigon Command said after the village was retaken that fifty-six communists were killed in the assault. This brought the number of dead claimed by the South Vietnamese to about 400 since the fighting began.
The recapture of An Dien was the first major success for the Saigon forces since the communists began their assault last month. The battle lasted three hours and to hold the village the Government troops had to beat off a determined counter attack led by North Vietnamese tanks. The village itself joined the long list of similar battle-ruined towns which were of little strategic value to either side but offered tangible proof that one side is beating the other.