The longest siege of a military post in the Khmer Republic since the war began in March, 1970, continued on Wednesday (24 January) at Romeas (pron: Rom-ee-ass) camp.
AV Hwy 5 & Romeas camp (2 shots)
AV Romeas town
SV Khmer troops running by Highway 5 (3 shots)
MV Cars along Highway
AV Helicopter landing (3 shots)
SV Wounded carried into helicopter (3 shots)
SV Helicopter away
SV More wounded into another helicopter (3 shots)
SV Helicopter away
SV Fresh fish come in for the troops
SV Troops in trenches
SV troops prepare equipment & carry dead (3 shots)
SV Injured walks alone & other on stretchers
SV General talks to injured (2 shots)
SV Officer promoted
SV Soldier & wife in combat dress talks to General
SV Soldier carries injured comrades
Initials ES. 1720 SGM/1909
The Visnews South-East Asia correspondent, Neil Davis, was trapped overnight in Romeas when government helicopters could not land under heavy fire.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The longest siege of a military post in the Khmer Republic since the war began in March, 1970, continued on Wednesday (24 January) at Romeas (pron: Rom-ee-ass) camp.
The camp is on the outskirts of Romeas town, eight miles from Highway Five and 50 air miles northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.
Since the siege started on the 5th of January, more than 40 per cent of the Khmer defenders have been killed or wounded.
But still the Government troops hold out... defying assault after assault by Communist forces.
Government reinforcements reached Romeas on January 19th and it seemed the post would be relieved. However, the Communists threw in reinforcements, too.
The Commander of the camp and his deputy were killed during the early part of the siege and two young lieutenants took joint command. One of them, Lieutenant Chan Lim, had only recently completed training at the Australian Army's jungle camp at Canungra, in Queensland. He and the other officer, Lieutenant Boun Ourk, were promoted in the field when two Khmer general made a morale boosting visit to the camp by helicopter.
SYNOPSIS: The Khmer Republic: and directly below is the site of the longest siege since war came to the country in March, nineteen-seventy. The post, on the outskirts of Romeas town, has been under attack since January the fifth.
The Khmer government sent reinforcements to the camp, not far from Highway Five. Than the communists blocked the highway, apparently so they could get reinforcements to the battle.
Despite heavy Communist fire, pilots have managed to get food and supplies into the defenders of Romeas camp.
The helicopters can't stay on the ground very long...only long enough to pick up the wounded. Then they take off again, as quickly as possible.
Since the siege began, forty per cent of the camp's defenders have been killed or wounded. The camp commander and his deputy were among the first to be killed.
This fish was a welcome sight to troops for who fresh food had been scarce.
These government troops are collecting the equipment and the weapons no longer needed by their dead and wounded comrades.
The morale of the government troops has remained high...partly due to a visit by two generals who decided on the spot to promote two junior officers who led the resistance after their superiors were killed.
The generals met some of the defenders...a husband and wife mortar team and an old soldier who had taken up arms again. On Wednesday, Romeas was still in government hands despite repeated night assaults by the Communists. There was no end in sight.