In Cambodia, government and Communist forces are continuing their battle for control of the three main lifeless to the north and north-east: Highways Six and Seven near the capital of Phnom Penh and the Mekong River.
MLS Soldiers walk down near-deserted streets of Rocakong. ( 2 shots )
MLS Main street almost deserted.
MV Cambodian soldiers resting outside Prefecture. (2 shots)
SCU Moslem soldier dons skullcap with Moslem crescent which he thinks will immunize him from death. ( 2 shots)
LV Pagoda PAN to covered body of soldier as wife stands nearby.
MV Soldier speaks to wife and points ( 3 shots)
MV refugees walking down road. ( 3 shots)
MV Refugees board ferry.
MV Old man on river bank.
LS Ferry moves off down Mekong.
Initials JH/AW/CO/0.32 JH/AW/CO/0.59
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Background: In Cambodia, government and Communist forces are continuing their battle for control of the three main lifeless to the north and north-east: Highways Six and Seven near the capital of Phnom Penh and the Mekong River. One of the latest duels centred on the small Mekong town of Rocakong, 31 miles (50 kms) north-east of Phnom Penh.
An estimated 400 Communist troops crept up on Rocakong early this week and virtually occupied it for five hours. Cambodian troops -- most of them Moslem descendants of the Champa Kingdom -- regained control at dawn after a night of fighting when the Communists left. Many of the Moslem soldiers wore skullcaps with Moslem crescents which they thought would protect them from death.
Four Cambodian soldiers were killed with many others injured. Communist casualties were not known. One Cambodian woman tried to claim the body of her husband, but was told to first get permission from the military commander.
Although the town was not damaged, most of the inhabitants of Rocakong fled to safety further down the Mekong River.
By Monday (28 December) much of the town was empty. The Communists -- believed to be mostly Vietcong assisted by North vietnamese cadres -- were reportedly still in the area and the people of Rocakong decided to take no chances in case of another attack.