• Short Summary

    The massive North Vietnamese attack on Tuesday (March 21) on Phnom Penh, capital of the Khmer Republic, was launched shortly after celebrations of the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, deposed two years ago in a right-wing coup.

  • Description

    The massive North Vietnamese attack on Tuesday (March 21) on Phnom Penh, capital of the Khmer Republic, was launched shortly after celebrations of the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, deposed two years ago in a right-wing coup. Prince Sihanouk now heads a government-in-exile in Peking, in the People's Republic of China. In the attack, over sixty people were believed killed and about 130 wounded. The dead and injured were mainly civilians.

    The attack also came shortly after General Lon Nol took over as the Khmer head of state this month (March), and as he is trying to form a new government.

    The attack on Phnom Penh came in two stages -- a barrage of 130 rockets and mortar bombs sent smashing into the city, followed by a commando raid in which North Vietnamese troops shot and stabbed civilian men, women and children in their homes. Fires broke out following the bombing, and property was extensively damaged. The city's international airport was also bombed and damaged, and an ammunition dump exploded.

    SYNOPSIS: Parts of Phnom Penh, capital of the Khmer Republic, looked like this on Tuesday after a heavy North Vietnamese rocket and mortar bomb attack -- a smoking, bomb-cratered, rubble-filled ruin of burning buildings and mutilated bodies lying in the streets. The attack came in two stages -- 130 rockets and mortar bombs launched from communist batteries mounted round the city in a semi-circle, and a commando assault ninety minutes later. During the assault. North Vietnamese troops shot and stabbed civilian men, women and children in their homes. Some of those who escaped this fate died anyway -- trapped in their bombed and burning homes. It was believed that over 60 people died, and about 130 were wounded.

    The attack, which also damaged the city's international airport and destroyed an ammunition dump and radio installations, was "significantly timed", according to reports. For it came shortly after celebrations to mark the right-wing overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, deposed two years ago and now leading a government-in-exile in Peking, in the People's Republic of China. It also came shortly after General Lon Nol took over power as head of state this month, and as he is trying to establish a new government.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5DJ7JY6BSKKZ8MMDE8IT6EPBU
    Media URN:
    VLVA5DJ7JY6BSKKZ8MMDE8IT6EPBU
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    22/03/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:21:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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