After three days of heavy bombardment and street fighting in Vientiane, right-wing troops of General Phoumi Novasan were reported December 17 to have wrested the Laos capital from the opposing soldiers of Communist Pathet Lao, and neutralist parachute commander, Captain Kong Lee.
L.VPAN. Western infantry along road to city.
SV.PAN. Supporting tanks along road.
CSV.PAN. Sign "Welcome to Vientiane."
CU. Sign "Welcome to Vientiane."
LV. Wrecked buildings from artillery barrage.
LV. Burning buildings.
ANGLE V. Wrecked building.
LV. Infantry climb from tanks in city limits.
SV. Troops take up positions to drive out enemy.
LV. Troops move in.
SV. Two pro-communists surrender.
SV. Troops man tank at control point.
LV. Civilian casualties on stretchers into lorry.
CU.PAN. Child and woman on stretchers.
LV. Homeless people start to leave city carrying belongings.
SV.PAN. Tank moves forwards to airfield.
TRAVEL SHOT.Airfield from tank turret.
LV.PAN. Tank across airfield past wrecked aircraft.
SV.PAN. Wrecked plane.
SV. Another wrecked plane.
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Background: After three days of heavy bombardment and street fighting in Vientiane, right-wing troops of General Phoumi Novasan were reported December 17 to have wrested the Laos capital from the opposing soldiers of Communist Pathet Lao, and neutralist parachute commander, Captain Kong Lee.
Film just received from Laos shows units of General Novasan's army advancing into near-destroyed Vientiane. Infantry, supported by tanks, penetrated into the suburbs, passing hundreds of homeless civilians evacuating the city.
Wrecked and burning buildings were seen everywhere as they marched on Vientiane Airport - defended by Russian howitzers of Captain Kong Lee's men.
The General Hospital was overwhelmed with civilians wounded in the bombardment. Casualties were estimated at 150 killed and about 300 injured.
Captain Kong Lae's forces then withdrew towards the north, taking with them the Soviet-supplied artillery flown to them earlier in the month by Russian Ilyushin aircraft from Hanoi, capital of Communist North Vietnam.
At a press conference in Vientiane Dec 20, Prince Boun Oum, head of the provisional Laotian Government, gave his first reactions to a proposal to revive the 3-power international commission for Laos. Although he did not entirely reject the idea - as had previous Laotian Governments - he said the commission had "sad memories" for Laos.