Government forces in the Khmer Republic are continuing to retreat on several fronts around the capital of Phnom Pehn.
GV APC carrier moving through field
CU Troops on carrier
LV Carriers moving into bush
SV Young soldiers moving through bush
GV Troops running while under attack (2 shots)
SV Soldiers take cover behind bank and begin firing (2 shots)
CU Soldier with M-79 grenade launcher calling to insurgents
GV Troops running under fire across open area
LV APC firing
GV Shell lands near APC fires back
SV Young soldier taking fire under cover
GV APC firing cannon
SV Young soldier running with bullet wound in elbow (early teans)
SV Showing part of elbow missing. Soldiers apply bandages (2 shots)
Initials BB/0047 BD/AW/BB/0118 NPJ/SC
EDITORS NOTE: Cameraman Neil Davis was wounded in both legs in filming this graphic skirmish between Government forces and Insurgents. Your attention is drawn to the age of some of the "soldiers" of the government's 13th Infantry Brigade...some aged between 11 and 14 years.
In Production No. 3690/74 -- "KHMER REPUBLIC: GOVERNMENT TROOPS CONTINUE TO TAKE HEAVY LOSSES IN FIGHTING AROUND PHNOM PENH", Visnews apologises for the error contained in the second paragraph of the first page and the first sentence of the commentary, which confuses the situation in the Khmer Republic with that in Laos. The "old government of Prince Souvanna Phouma" refers to the previous government in Laos. In Khmer the Communist Khmer Rouge and the Khmer Government in Phnom Penh have not formed any government or alliance.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Government forces in the Khmer Republic are continuing to retreat on several fronts around the capital of Phnom Pehn.
Fighting is going on despite the recent formation of a new government in the Republic (formerly Cambodia) with representatives of both the old government of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the Communist Khmer Rouge. With heavy commitments on various battlefronts throughout the country to confront both insurgents and North Vietnamese regulars, the government has been unable to reinforce hard-pressed units near the capital itself. New fighting began on Thursday (10 April) only 17 miles (29 kilometers) southwest of the city along Highway Four. Troops of the 13th Infantry Brigade which includes many boy-soldiers in their early and mid teens were rushed to the area.
A total of 200 government troops faced a well-entrenched insurgent force along a front more than a half a mile (1 kilometer) long. Despite being supported by Armoured Personnel Carriers armed with 106 milimetre cannon, the government troops were outnumbered and were forced to retreat under heavy fire. Casualties were heavy. For some of the younger soldiers, aged 11 to 14 years old, it was their first action. Two of the youngsters were wounded. After a day of fighting the government forces retreated to regroup and evacuate their wounded. However, they were soon to move into the battle again as government forces are still seriously depleted by heavy fighting in the Port Town of Kampot and in the Oudong region north of Phnom Penh.
The Khmer new year began on Saturday (13 April) and even heavier attacks and further advances by the insurgents are expected by the Phnom Penh government.
SYNOPSIS: Casualties on the government side were heavy, including injuries to some of the youngest soldiers. Cameraman Neil Davis was wounded in both legs as he filmed this battle to dislodge the insurgents.
Then the only reinforcements could again be soldiers of eleven years, dwarfed by their helmets and rifles.