A 4,000-man South Vietnamese force, operating in conjunction with five Cambodian Army battalions, this week continued its advance through heavily wooded country south of Phnom Penh in search of a major Viet Cong base.
Aerial view jungle
MV Vietnamese troops in armoured carrier
MV PAN refugees on tricycles
SV Brigade Commander and troops through jungle.
SV soldiers examining bunker
SV abandoned motor-cycle
GV troops on carriers across rice fields ( 4 shots )
Initials AH/JF/PS/1718 AH/JF/PS
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Background: A 4,000-man South Vietnamese force, operating in conjunction with five Cambodian Army battalions, this week continued its advance through heavily wooded country south of Phnom Penh in search of a major Viet Cong base.
The combined operation started over the weekend. A South Vietnamese military spokesman said that the force of marines and rangers was backed by artillery, armoured units and river patrols.
From the beginning of the operation, marine units were reported to have been involved in sporadic light clashes. But casualties among the estimated 1,500 Viet Cong force were unknown -- apart from five guerrillas killed by air strikes.
Though the troops uncovered bunkers used by the guerrillas there have so far been no reports that the suspected Viet Cong base in the area has been located.
While the sweep south of Phnom Penh continued, the number of South Vietnamese troops in Cambodia was cut by a third. The Saigon Government ordered the withdrawal of a 6,000-man task force from the border area of Snoul. Over the week-end, the force was involved in a battle during which 41 Viet Cong were reported killed.