South Vietnamese Government troops recaptured a village 40 miles north of Saigon on Wednesday (7 February) from the Viet Cong.
LV ARVN armour around village
LV & SV Armour & mortars fired (3 shots)
LV Troops enter village
SV PAN..Village sign 'AP HOA-LAN' to line of ARVN armour on road
LV & CU Demolished houses (4 shots)
LV Rangers enter village
SV Villagers and cow flee before oncoming APC
SV Group around dead Viet Cong
SV & CU PAN..Group around burnt-out tri-wheel truck with burnt body (2 shots)
CU Weeping relatives of dead man (2 shots)
SV Villagers with belongings outside village (3 shots)
SV Villagers with cattle
LV Armour carriers passing cattle and-villagers
Initials ES. 1.36 ES. 1.56
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South Vietnamese Government troops recaptured a village 40 miles north of Saigon on Wednesday (7 February) from the Viet Cong. The hamlet was overrun by the Viet Cong just two days ago. It was one of 25 villages captured by the Viet Cong in attacks since the start of the Vietnam ceasefire 12 days ago.
The South Vietnamese used armoured personnel Carriers, artillery and mortars to bombard Hoa An, a village located just south of Chon Thanh on Highway ???. During the action a villager was killed and the retreating Viet Cong left behind several dead.
The South Vietnamese Military Command in Saigon later announced that most of the hamlets lost to the Viet Cong had been recaptured. It announced that Government troops had also reopened all major roads except Highways 13 and 14 leading to the Cambodian border from central Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: The village of Hoa An, 40 miles north of Saigon was the centre of a battle for control between South Vietnamese soldiers and the Viet Cong on Wednesday. The Viet Cong had overrun the village two days earlier. It was just one of 25 hamlets they had taken control of since the Vietnam ceasefire started.
After a barrage of shells from armoured personnel carriers and artillery the Viet Cong fled. The South Vietnamese troops ???tiously entered the village to secure the operation. They found that many of the hamlet's buildings had been destroyed by the bombardment.
The South Vietnamese searched the hamlet for the Viet Cong and rounded up suspected communist sympathisers.
The Viet Cong had retreated from Hoa An leaving their dead behind.
For the villagers it was a defeat no matter who won. During the heavy South Vietnamese bombardment of the hamlet, a mortar blast killed one of the villagers. The man's wife and family wept as fellow villagers crowded around.
A South Vietnamese military spokesman in Saigon later announced that nearly all of the hamlets lost to the Viet Cong since the ceasefire had been recaptured. He said that Government troops had also reopened all major roads except Highways 13 and 14 leading to the Cambodian border from Central Vietnam. Since the ceasefire more than 2,000 violations have been recorded by the South Vietnamese Command.