As the Communist stronghold on Phnom Penh loosens, Government forces have worked their way out from the capital, reopening Highway One.
GV Pan Near Luong
GV shattered houses
MV Tilt down battered balconies and windows (4 shots)
CU War poster pan across to damaged building
MV & CU Holes in walls (3 shots)
MV Wrecked balcony
MV and GV Zoom in People recovering belongings (2 shots)
CU Hand-bag and soldier's helmet (2 shots)
SV dog sniffs through rubble
MV girls walking through damage, Pan across devastated area
GV and SV Women praying (2 shots)
SV Man dancing and band plays (2 shots)
MV woman prays (2 shots)
SV woman and man dance
SV zoom into CU gifts including rice, vegetables and money (2 shots)
MV and GV fire-sticks and crowd (2 shots)
GV SV and CUs monks chanting (5 shots)
SV & MV Buddhist devotees give food to monks (2 shots)
Initials AE/22.22 AE/22.58
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Background: As the Communist stronghold on Phnom Penh loosens, Government forces have worked their way out from the capital, reopening Highway One. By 12 August, the highway was cleared as far as the town of Near Luong - accidentally bombed a week before by United States aircraft. Convoys are now able to reach the town - and with them, cameramen, who have just returned with film of the devastation.
Near Luong was one of four civilian targets hit during two weeks of concentrated U.S. air strikes. About 40 per cent of the town was flattened in the raid by B-52 bombers. One hundred and forty-five of the town's 5000 people died, and another 280 were injured.
Three blocks of the town took the brunt of the attack. They were devastated, and another two blocks were partially damaged. Residents say there are at least 58 bomb craters in the town. Two unexploded bombs were uncovered as survivors picked through the wreckage, trying to salvage belongings.
And while life in Near Luong struggles back to normal, in the capital o??? Phnom Penh, "peace" is the world. On 12 August - three days before the U.S. bombing raids were due to cease - there were prayers for peace. Khmer women and Buddhist monks offered gifts at ceremonial altars. Music and dancing accompanied their prayers. On the political front, it's been reprote??? that peace feelers have been put out between the Government and the Communist. A Government spokesman was optimistic that a settlement could be reached.
SYNOPSIS: The vital Mekong River port of Near Luong, which was bombed accidentally by U.S. B-52s on 6th August.
Now the town's 5,000 people are struggling back. They have buried the 145 people killed in the attack, treated the 280 injured, and begun to repair the material damage. About 40 per cent of the town was hit by the American bombs.
Residents say there are 58 bomb craters in the town. Two "live" bombs were uncovered near the main market.
The Near Luong strike was one of four bombing mistakes made by US planes in two weeks of concentrated air raids over the Khmer Republic.
In another miscalculation, an F-111 struck a village on an island near Near Luong, killing eight people.
And as the raids come to their enforced end, the once-isolated Near Luong is again accessible by road. Highway One which links it with the capital, Phnom Penh, has been reopened, and heavily guarded convoys are rumbling along it again.
Phnom Penh, too, has been relieved. Government so??? say the Communist siege has been broken and they are optimistic about a settlement.
Peace is in the air. At the weekend, Buddhist monks and Khmer women - accompanied by musicians and dancers prayed for peace.
Gifts of rice, vegetables and money were offered by the devotees during the festival.
It has been reported that peace feelers have been put out between Government and Communist forces.
Government officials hope the bombing-halt will produce a climate suitable for negotiations, and an eventual settlement. They say it would be easie??? if insurgent leaders identified themsel???
But as a pessimistic footnote, the officials add that a settlement is impossible while the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong remain in their country.