Two villagers close to Phnom Penh were overrun by insurgent forces in the early morning of Friday (13 July).
GV Govt. troops on Highway 5
SV Gen. Soung talks on field radio
GV, SV Troops move away from road
GV Armoured carriers along road (2 shots)
GV, SV APCs towards bush (3 shots)
LV Govt. forces firing mortars
SV Monks fleeing
SV Villagers pack carts & leave (3 shots)
CU Woman with baby crying
GV People on road
MV Girls with belongings
GV, SV Refugees along road in cart (3 shots)
Initials SGM/0137 SGM/0123
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Background: Two villagers close to Phnom Penh were overrun by insurgent forces in the early morning of Friday (13 July). The villages -- Poun Dos and Phum Tabek -- were four kilometres (2 1/2 miles) from Phnom Baset village, the site of a Government Army base 23 kilometres (15 miles) west of the capital on Highway Five.
In the fighting that followed, refugees fled the villages with their animals and possessions.
For several days before the attack, United States F-111 bombers pounded the area heavily. The counter-attack by Khmer Government troops managed to drive the insurgents from the jungle area facing the Phnom Baset Army Base. Khmer military sources described the attackers as six-hundred Viet Cong led by a North Vietnamese Lieutenant General and North Vietnamese advisors.
Because an estimated seven-hundred villagers remained in the fighting zone, air strikes could not be carried out.
The fighting around Phnom Baset is tactically important to both sides, with the area overlooking Phnom Penh, the main airport and Highway 5.
On Friday, government forces evacuated two positions near the capital, north-east and south of the city.
The United States Defence department earlier this month reported a fifty-percent increase in American bombing over Khmer Republic.
SYNOPSIS: Troops of the Khmer Republic assembled on the important Highway Five, west of the capital Phnom Penh, after insurgent forces overran two villages early on Friday morning.
The Government forces claimed the insurgents were Viet Cong -- six hundred of them -- led by a North Vietnamese Lieutenant-General and North Vietnamese advisors. The two villages which came under attack, Poun Doe and Phum Tabek,were about twenty-five kilometres west of Phnom Penh.
For several days before the attack, United States F-111 bombers pounded the area heavily to drive out communist fores. The counter-attack by Khmer Government troops pushed the communists from the jugula area. In their pull-back, the insurgents overran a total of five villages, only a few kilometres from the main highway. Government forces struck back with mortars, but air strikes were ruled out because many villagers were still i the fighting zone. Those who could, fled the villages with their animals and possessions.
The fighting around Phnom Baset is tactically important to both sides -- the area overlooks the Khmer capital Phnom Penh, the main airport and Highway Five.
On the same day, government forces evacuated two positions near Phnom Penh, north-east and south of the city. The improved weather in the region this month has brought greater military activity on the ground, as well as more air strikes by United States bombers. A defence Department spokesman earlier this month reported a fifty-percent increase in American bombing over the Khmer Republic.