Government troops regained control of Highway For of Saturday (10 November) after if had been cut by communist troops about 13 miles (20 kms) west of Phnom Penh.
Government troops regained control of Highway For of Saturday (10 November) after if had been cut by communist troops about 13 miles (20 kms) west of Phnom Penh. The road is particularly vital because it is the route from the capital to the country's only deep-water port at Kompong Son.
Troops were rushed to the area in armoured personnel carriers after news came through that the road had been cut. They attacked a communist force estimated at 250 which had entrenched itself in the paddy fields near Route Four. After seven hours of fighting, the highway was reopened. Journalists were shown the bodies of 17 communist troops, aged between 14 and 20.
SYNOPSIS: Government troops were rushed to a point 13 miles west of Phnom Penh along Highway Four on Saturday. The Highway, which provided the link between the capital and the Khmer Republic's only deep-water port at Kompong Son, had been cut by communist troops.
The government troops fired at the tree-line near the road, where the communists were thought to have entrenched themselves in bunkers. A convoy of lorries waited just up the road to get through to Kompong Son.
The troops moved towards the communist positions firing M-16 rifles and grenade launchers.
When the battle ended, the bodies of seventeen communist troops were displayed to journalists. One government soldier was reported killed and nine wounded.
The communists seemed to be very young - between 14 and 20 years old. Their total force was estimated at two-hundred-and-fifty-men.
Although the Highway was reopened after seven hours of intensive fighting, many local people had to leave the area. Earlier in the we many civilians had left the town of Sprang, which also overlooks Highway Four twenty-three miles from the capital. government troops recently left Sprang after weeks of heavy fighting.