Heavy fighting has been reported on all the main war fronts in South Vietnam in the past few days, especially down the western side of the country from Ban Me Thuot to the Tay Ninh province, northwest of Saigon.
GV & SV Refugees (4 shots)
SV Old man and family by road -- other people (4 shots)
SV Men on motorcycles (2 shots)
SV More refugees on foot (2 shots)
SV & PAN People on motorcycle
SV People with ox
SV Children carried across river by soldiers
SV Bus and people by roadside (2 shots)
SCU People along roadside followed by motorcyclists (2 shots)
SV Soldiers in armoured vehicle and on foot (3 shots)
SV Soldiers by roadside (2 shots)
Initials BB/0025 LT/DW/BB/0020
T/R original colour on 2722/75 60ft
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Heavy fighting has been reported on all the main war fronts in South Vietnam in the past few days, especially down the western side of the country from Ban Me Thuot to the Tay Ninh province, northwest of Saigon.
At one stage Tay Nihn city was cut off from Saigon by Viet Cong troops, but soldiers from the South Vietnamese 18th division have reopened the 90 kilometres (56 miles) of road between the two cities.
Thousands of refugees hove been leaving the province for Saigon since than and the Saigon Command reports a nationwide offensive by the Viet Cong.
Military analysts however, say the current fighting is the combination of several regional campaigns by the communists, with more limited aims than a general offensive.
They do say, though, that the fighting is as heavy as at any time since immediately after the signing of the Paris peace agreements in January, 1973.