Fierce fighting continues throughout South Vietnam as roads in the country became increasingly blocked by vast columns of refugees and soldiers.
SV AND GV AND TV Refugees in column, beside road, in vehicles and eating food (7 shots)
DB INTERIOR Helicopter gunship firing 7 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Refugee column beside river (2 shots)
GV Refugees and soldiers rushing towards helicopter as aircraft takes off (6 shots)
AERIAL VIEWS Troops and bridge building materials on runaway (2 shots)
Initials CL/0008 CL/0029
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Background: Fierce fighting continues throughout South Vietnam as roads in the country became increasingly blocked by vast columns of refugees and soldiers. Government troops have abandoned more key towns and reports reaching Saigon suggest at least one South Vietnamese division has walked into a carefully prepared trap in its withdrawal from the Central Highlands.
In the north, Highway One south of the former Imperial capital Hue has been cut 40 miles (60 km) from the outskirts and although the city itself has been subjected to only light shelling and rocket attacks, at least part of the civilian administration has been evacuated.
Reports on Monday (24 March) said communist forces had cut Highway One in a second place, about 40 miles (60 km) southeast of Denang, isolating that city as well as Hue.
South Vietnamese aircraft and helicopters are mounting an unprecedented number of sorties in an effort to protect refugee columns and their own troops from communist fire. Aerial attacks are the only feasible method of protecting the columns in most areas.
As the withdrawal from the Central Highlands continues roads leading to the coastal areas are clogged with vehicles and people end most are being subjected to attacks.