About three thousand refugees and villagers have been leaving the South Vietnamese village of Ha Lam, under attack from North Vietnamese heavy artillery.
About three thousand refugees and villagers have been leaving the South Vietnamese village of Ha Lam, under attack from North Vietnamese heavy artillery. The bombardment - in which 130 millimetre guns were used by the communists - was seen by South Vietnamese military experts as a prelude to a major infantry attack.
The Government had told the refugees - many of whom had fled to the village from Que Son valley - that they would be safe in Ha Lam, but a mood of near - panic was brought about when militiamen detailed to defend the village were seen leaving. The communist attack brought the usual personal tragedies: one Vietnamese soldier and his wife learnt that all their relatives - parents, brothers and sisters on both sides - had died in the bombardment.
Some Soldiers did stay on - provided the price was right - and one local merchant bribed the driver of an army truck to take his goods away for him.