Mi???ry and terrorist activity in the Khmer Republic stepped up dramatically in the last week?
Mi???ry and terrorist activity in the Khmer Republic stepped up dramatically in the last week of October as the Monsoon season began drawing to an end. There was heavy fighting between government troops and Communist-led forces on at least three fronts, and terrorist activity in the capital Phnom Penh. At the same time. fighting flared up again in South Vietnam.
One of the biggest battles was on Highway 5 -- known as the "rise road" -- which links Phnom Penh with the important rice-producing province of Battambang. Heavy fighting began on Sunday (October 28) after sporadic attacks by Communist forces. They crossed the Tonle Sap River from the east bank and occupied a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Highway.
After three days the khmer government troops, supported by armoured cars, claimed to have killed and wounded about 30 Communists. The bulk of the fighting was about 15 miles (24 kms) north of Phnom Penh.
On Sunday (October 28), the Khmer forces tried a determined push to re-open the Highway, but the Communist-led fighters were well-entrenched and waiting. they met the government attack with a barrage of mortars and rockets, to hold up the Khmer advance and give their own troops time to escape by sampan on the Tonle Sap River. In the restricted area of fighting, casualties were inevitable -- and heavy. Soldiers, women and children were killed and wounded.
On the same day, six people were killed and at least 16 injured when a hand grenade exploded at a crowded market in the centre of Phnom Penh. Earlier in the week a handgrenade was thrown into a small Chinese restaurant in the capital, and observers believe the terrorism is timed to coincide with the step-up in military ???tivity.