Fighting around the Khmer capital of Phnom Penh has been punctuated recently with a series of attacks by Communist forces and retaliations from the Khmers.
SV 155 mm guns firing (2 shots)
SV Ditto (3 shots)
SV Ambulance with Khmer wounded
SV Women & children getting off lorry
SV Armoured cars with troops (2 shots)
Tracking shot along road past damaged buildings (2 shots)
Tracking shot across damaged bridge
GV PAN Along damaged bridge
SV Streets in Prey Veng city
SV Smouldering rubble (2 shots)
Initials SGM/2337 SGM/2325
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Background: Fighting around the Khmer capital of Phnom Penh has been punctuated recently with a series of attacks by Communist forces and retaliations from the Khmers.
On Thursday (30 December), Communist forces abducted about 500 peasants from villages about 47 miles (75 kms) east of Phnom Penh. Khmer High Command spokesmen have claimed that the peasants will be marched to Communist strongholds and indoctrinated.
The abduction prompted Khmer forces to launch two operations in eastern areas of the country to flush out Communist guerrillas and destroy supply caches. Visnews cameraman Yosep Lee accompanied Khmer troops in one of the operations not far from Prey Veng.
SYNOPSIS: In the Khmer Republic on Thursday, Government artillery units were spear heading an offensive on the northern city of Prey Veng in preparation for assaults on Communist positions near Highway 15. Khmer High Command spokesmen have said that the offensives are primarily to flush out small pockets of Communist guerrillas and to destroy their supply bases.
Initial casualty figures for the clashes were not immediately released, although Government officers said that losses were expected to be heavier in the coming few days. The local population also sustained losses -- some were wounded in the firing and many had their homes destroyed.
The Khmer forces brought up armoured support as the offensive on the city's outskirts neared its climax. Security precautions surrounding the whole operation were tight, and only at the last minute were the armoured columns and extra troops moved in.
Damage after the bombardment on the city outskirts was heavy Many of the villagers had deserted their homes following reports of a Communist abduction of some 500 peasants from villages east of Phnom Penh.
While Government troops were entering Prey Veng, other units were linking up with South Vietnamese troops for border operations aimed at flushing out Communist bases. Early reports indicated that four Khmer soldiers were killed in clashes near Kompong Trebek. Observers have speculated that the primary aim of the joint operation will be to keep Highway One open in the face of increased Communist activity.