• Short Summary

    Kontum city, in the South Vietnamese Central Highlands, is currently preparing for battle. American helicopter?

  • Description

    Aerial shot of Kontum

    Troops arriving by helicopter

    Helicopters on ground

    Chinook helicopter lifting cobra out

    America ground crew arming cobra

    Observation helicopters and cobras taking off

    Refugees near airport gates and some into chopper and away Aerial shot of Kontum


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Kontum city, in the South Vietnamese Central Highlands, is currently preparing for battle. American helicopter pilots have been making daring rescues from areas west of the city as large communist troop concentrations, backed up by tanks and artillery, are reported to be only a few miles away.

    Some of the helicopter have been damaged during frequent rocket attacks on the airport, American personnel are transporting many of them to Fleiku, about 20 miles to the south.

    Cobra gunships are still flying sorties into the highlands in an effort to slow down the communist advance on the city. Airstrikes, the most effective means of clearing communist positions, have been cancelled over the last few days because of unsuitable weather.

    Refugees are reported to be still waiting for the road to Pleiku to be declared safe. Communist forces were controlling more than ten miles of the highway varlier in the week, and the only out of Kontum was by air. There were reports oft refugees fig ting to get aboard helicopters going south, but only a few are now allowed near the airport.

    American military officials are expecting an all-out assault on Nontum before the end of the week. They maintain the city is "defensible", but Kontum has fallen strangely quiet in the face of what could be a decisive and bloody battle.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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