United States and South Vietnamese troops continued door-to-door fighting with Viet Cong in the streets of Saigon on Saturday (3 February) as the Communist lunar new year offensive neared the end of its first week.
MS Marines fighting in the streets and attacking Pagoda
MS Building on fire-fire truck on way to fire--marines salvaging furniture
MS Marines firing on snipers
MS Building on fire-marines and residents salvaging furniture
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Background: United States and South Vietnamese troops continued door-to-door fighting with Viet Cong in the streets of Saigon on Saturday (3 February) as the Communist lunar new year offensive neared the end of its first week.
Viet Cong and North Vietnamese continued to mount new assaults. This despite Allied claims of killing 15,000 North Vietnamese and guerrillas.
Some of the heaviest fighting was in Cholon, the Chinese quarter of Saigon, where Vietcong units took refuge in the An Quang Pagoda, a militant anti-government Buddhist centre. Allied military intelligence said the Viet Cong offensive showed no signs of collapsing.
Vietnamese Marines advanced on the Pagoda, firing as they went. A small dog scurried along in the street dodging bullets. Some of the attacking marines threw grenades into the Pagoda compound and it caught fire. A firetruck came, but snipers forced firemen to return to the station. South Vietnamese troops failed to extinguish the flames with their helmets. It spread throughout the Pagoda. Soldiers helped residents carry out furniture and other belongings. Viet Cong fled from the burning buildings, but Vietnamese marines were unable to kill more than a few.