South Vietnam released 500 prisoners of war on Thursday (8 March) -- the first contingent to be released in the overdue second phase of the exchange of Vietnamese prisoners-of-war.
GV Prisoners wait to be released (2 shots)
International Commission of Control and Supervision watching (2 shots)
MV North Vietnamese representative coming to talk with prisoners
SV Prisoners applauding
SV N. Vietnamese representatives and ICCS men talk
SV ICCS man using radio-telephone
GTV Prisoners cross river by boat as ICCS men watch (4 shots)
LV Prisoners running ashore
Initials BB/1720 GR/TK/MR/BB/1712
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Background: South Vietnam released 500 prisoners of war on Thursday (8 March) -- the first contingent to be released in the overdue second phase of the exchange of Vietnamese prisoners-of-war. The prisoners were flown to the release-site north of Quang Tri and were ferried to freedom across the Thach Han River under the supervision of International Commission of Control and Supervision (I.C.C.S.) members.
Only 499 of the prisoners actually crossed the river. One man, Corporal Trinh Van Ky, decided at the last minute to remain in South Vietnam.
The South vietnamese Command reported later that government positions less tan three miles from the release-point had been shelled during the release. The High Command also reported that communist gunners fired 362 rounds into government positions around Hue, south of Quang Tri.
Hanoi denied the reports and countered by refusing to release some 250 South Vietnamese prisoners on Sunday (11 March), alleging that the South Vietnamese had attacked areas around the release-sites.