Insurgent gunners renewed their artillery assault on the khmer Republic capital Phnom Penh on Saturday (2 February) with a pre-dean bombardment of 68 shells which left at least seven people killed and sixteen wounded.
SV ZOOM OUT GV Artillery gun being cleaned
SV Shells being prepared
SV Artillery being checked
SVs Shells being fused (3 shots)
MV & SV Artillery guns fired (4 shots)
GV PAN APC IN Field & MV firing (2 shots)
TV & SV Troops sheltering under trees (2 shots)
Soldier on wireless
SV Troops in APC
MV, SV & CU wounded treated in open jungle area (5 shots)
Initials AE/20.09 AE/20.23
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Background: Insurgent gunners renewed their artillery assault on the khmer Republic capital Phnom Penh on Saturday (2 February) with a pre-dean bombardment of 68 shells which left at least seven people killed and sixteen wounded.
The shells landed in the Beong Tapoun suburb, largely a shanty town of wooden huts and shacks. It was one of the main targets of attacks on the city last week in which about one-hundred people were killed or wounded.
Communist gunners -- using captures American-made artillery -- have been firing rockets and shells into phnom Penh from the North, northeast and south, since before Christmas. So far more than 300 people have been killed or wounded in this latest Communist offensive.
The threat to the capital is posed by about 80 insurgent battalions and ten captured field guns. The government claimed its troops had pushed south far enough to neutralise the threat of further shelling. But Saturday's heavy shelling backed up the Communist's claim that their military power around Phnom Penh continues to grow.
Prisoners captured in a battle northwest of the city spoke for the first time of an insurgent division -- a major step up from the regiments which first appeared last year.
South of Phnom Penh, the pressure eased off on Thursday, with the khmer troops making use of heavy artillery to push back communist forces operating only a few kilometres from the city's airport.