The largest and richest rice-growing area of the Khmer Republic has been cut off by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops.
MV Truck carrying troops halts.
SV & CU Three prisoners-of-war off trucks, escorted by troops. (4 shots)
SV Prisoners interrogated by officer. (5 shots)
SV Prisoner taken away.
TRAVEL SHOT along Highway Five.
SV & CU Guard at road barrier. (2 shots)
SV & CU Troops in position facing communist held territory. (3 shots)
Initials WLW/VS 21.11 WLW/VS 21.24
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The largest and richest rice-growing area of the Khmer Republic has been cut off by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops. With increasing pressure on all fighting fronts in Khmer, the communist forces cut Highway Five in the first week of October -- the vital road running north from the capital, Phnom Penh, and leading into Khmer's major rice-paddies.
What appeared to observers to be a major campaign against Phnom Penh began several months previously, when communist forces closed Highway One, leading into the capital from the south-east. Highway Two, leading south to the country's second-largest ricefields, was cut for an entire month and only partially re-opened at the end of September but with communist force still controlling the rice. Highway Four, an important route leading to the major port of Kompong Som, was normally communist controlled.
Latest reports with this film said Phnom Penh was beginning to suffer severe shortages of food and essential industrial oil, and that communist pressure was still on the increase.