Fighting between Khmer Republic forces and communist infiltrators intensified around the country's capital, Phnom Penh, on Thursday (April 26).
Fighting between Khmer Republic forces and communist infiltrators intensified around the country's capital, Phnom Penh, on Thursday (April 26). During the day, fighting took place between three and nine miles (5 and 15 kilometres) around Phnom Penh. Some of the fiercest action took place on the Bassac River, which runs south out of the capital. In several actions along the river, communist and Khmer troops exchanged fire from opposite banks and Government forces used artillery in an attempt to dislodge the communists.
The previous night (Wednesday, April 25), communist troops implanted within three miles of the city's only airport, fired rockets on the area. Some of the rockets landed in a neighbouring residential suburb, causing severe damage and loss of life. Our production number 3967/73, also serviced form London on Thursday, shows aftermath scenes of the rocket attack. This production covers fighting on the Bassac River on Thursday.
SYNOPSIS: Fighting intensified around the Khmer Republic capital of Phnom Penh on Thursday. Some of the fiercest fighting took place along the banks of the Bassac River, which runs south out of the city. There, Khmer troops and communist infiltrators exchanged fire from opposite banks.
This fighting along the Bassac was only one of several actions during the day. In similar engagements to the north of Phnom Penh, along the narrow strip of land dividing the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, communist forces advanced closer to the capital despite strong opposition.
The overall position on the military front was looking serious for the capital as Government forces consistently failed to dislodge communists form their entrenched positions....and failed to stem several advances during the day. The result of clashes like this one -- even though Government forces had artillery to use against their opponents -- was only to increase the weeks-old communist grip around Phnom Penh.