The village of Thach Mau near Phnom Penh in the Khmer Republic is in the centre of an area where Communist forces are reported to be massing.
GV Convoy of army vehicles down road at Thach Mau
CU ZOOM OUT Rolls Royce down road inside is high-ranking officer
SCU Woman weeping ZOOM OUT TO Other women weeping
SV Dead body in coffin
SV Husband of a dead woman weeping PAN ALONG Planks for making coffin
SV Man & woman enter house of dead woman
SV INT. Dead woman stretched out on table
CU & SV Dead woman on table as another woman looks on
SV Government troops fire mortar (2 shots)
SV & CU Suspected communist tied to tree being questioned (2 shots)
SCU Government soldier asks question PAN TO Suspect with two soldiers watching
Initials ESP/2333 ESP/2351
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Background: The village of Thach Mau near Phnom Penh in the Khmer Republic is in the centre of an area where Communist forces are reported to be massing. On Monday (16 April) the area was the scene of heavy fighting between communist and government forces. On the same day, villagers at Thach Mau Mourned their dead ... killed during the previous day's action. Government troops in the area apprehended a communist suspect. He was tied to a tree for interrogation.
Heavy communist bombardment of the Thach Mau area claimed mainly civilian casualties. More than a hundred artillery rounds were pumped into the village area, on the southern outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh. Wooden homes in the village were damaged, but no important industrial plants or military installations were hit.
Following the bombardments, United States aircraft launched heavy bombing raids on communist troop concentrations in the area. The air raids have become a daily routine in attempts to halt some forty communist battalions around Phnom Penh.
Some outlying settlements around the capital have been evacuated while others are encircled by communist forces moving towards the capital.
In the city itself, the supply crisis has eased slightly with more oil tankers and barges penetrating the communist forces' cordon around Phnom Penh. As well as sporadic convoys of boats, United States aircraft are landing supplies of aviation fuel in the city daily. Truck convoys from the western port of Kompong Som have also reached Phnom Penh.
SYNOPSIS: Khmer Government forces have been attempting to hold back communist advances around the village of Thach Mau .... not far from the capital, Phnom Penh.
On Monday, the day after a heavy communist bombardment, villagers mourned their dead. The bombardment had claimed mainly civilian casualties.
The villages died in a barrage of more than a hundred heavy mortar shells and recoilless rifle rounds. Wooden homes in the village were damaged but there were no hits on important industrial plants or military installations.
Thach Mau villagers are subject to some of the heaviest fighting around Phnom Penh.
Khmer Government forces in the area have retaliated, but it's been estimated that there are some forty communist battalions around Phnom Penh.
In their operations around the village, Government troops apprehended a communist suspect as he was attempting to pass through troop lines. Khmer military authorities are anxious to find more information of the communist troop concentrations in the area.
Thach Mau has also attracted heavy bombing by United States aircraft. They were called in to bomb heavy troop concentrations in the area. The air raids and scenes such as this are now daily occurrences round Phnom Penh.