Khmer government forces launched a major operation on Thursday (May the 20th) to re-open highway three.
SV Col. Ung Van commander of Takeo sub-district, studies map
SV Ung Van with Col. Lon Nol (right) & CU Lon Nol
Travel shot along Highway 3 near Tram Khnar
SV Soldiers along highway
SV Milestone noting Phnom Penh 50 kms to north. Note this is furthest south Khmer forces have reached of many months
SV Soldiers across paddyfield
SV Officer points
SV Soldiers through graveyard & approach hedge
Reverse angle. Soldiers through hedge
SV Soldiers take breather near pagoda
Initials SGM/1610 SGM/1648
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Background: Khmer government forces launched a major operation on Thursday (May the 20th) to re-open highway three. The highway runs south from the capital of Phnom Penh to the port of Kampot. They are hoping to re-open the road to the coast, then the road which leads along the coast to the country's only deep water port of Kompong Som. Highway four which leads from Phnom Penh directly to Kompong Som is also blocked by the communists.
The operation is under the command of Colonel Lon Nol, brother of the country's Prime Minister, Marshal Lon Nol. Although the drive southwards has been slowed down by hundreds of villagers abandoning their homes to escape the fighting, the troops have gone farther south on the road than they've been for many months. So far there has been little contact with the Communists who have held the road for more than a year.