North Vietnamese sappers attacked the Khmer capital of Phnom Penh just after two o'clock on Saturday morning.
North Vietnamese sappers attacked the Khmer capital of Phnom Penh just after two o'clock on Saturday morning. Reports said an armoured personnel carrier loaded with communist troops bluffed its way past a group of guards on a Japanese span bridge just outside the northern sector of the city. They stopped the APC in the middle of the bridge and then detonated two massive charges, collapsing one section of the structure. Civilians in the area were forced to five -- some of them badly wounded in the fighting.
As down broke over the city, Khmer troops moved into the northern sector in house to house street fighting. Some of the communists tried to escape by swimming down the river, but Khmer marksmen picked them off from a bridge as they swan close to the banks.
The French embassy, unoccupied at the time, is reported to have been entered by some of the communists. The structure itself sustained damage from bullet holes and rocked fire.
Just after dawn, the communists were trapped by a ring of road blocks and troops. Some of them tried to crash through the blockade in two captured armoured personnel carriers but were killed by rocket and grenade fire from Khmer troops.
Intelligence reports indicated later that more than a hundred communists were still encamped outside the city in the swampy marshlands to the north. For the rest of Saturday the Khmers saturated the area with mortar and artillery fire but no further engagements were reported.