A twilight rocket attack on the Khmer Republican capital of Phnom Penh killed five people and injured at least 15 others, mainly civilians, as Communist forces relentlessly pressed their offensive against the government.
GV INT. Wrecked building (2 shots)
SV Bomb-damaged car (2 shots)
LV,SV Dead covered with blankets
SV,CU medical staff attend wounded (4 shots)
SV Family & CU Injured woman on stretcher (2 shots)
SV Doctors attending wounded (3 shots)
SV Woman comforts patient
SV Woman with back injury on stretcher
CU,GV Patients & staff
Initials SGM/2047 SGM/2141
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Background: A twilight rocket attack on the Khmer Republican capital of Phnom Penh killed five people and injured at least 15 others, mainly civilians, as Communist forces relentlessly pressed their offensive against the government.
Military sources set the death toll at 15 killed with 40 wounded -- the highest number of casualties since april 26 -- but these were unconfirmed.
An estimated 15 rockets were fired on the city and Pochentong International Airport. Some rockets landed in the crowded city centre and, although rockets did not penetrate the airport perimeter, several fell among refuges housing on the main road nearby.
Medical teams had to treat dozens of people wounded in the attack.
The attack was one of the most audacious in the mounting guerrilla offensive. The Communists are moving close and closer to the capital, with increased pressure being felt by the under-strength government forces and the civilian population.
The uncertainty of the situation has prompted the British and Australian embassies to urge their citizens to leave the country, or at least evacuate wives, children and female employees.
The rocket attacks prompted strikes by American B-52 bombers on suspected Communist positions. But the Khmer Government fears the aid of the American planes will soon be withdrawn by the United States, leaving Phnom Penh open to more rocket attacks.
SYNOPSIS: Destruction and death followed a twilight rocket attack on the Khmer Republic capital, Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
An estimated fifteen rockets lammed into the city centre and the perimeter of Pochentong International Airport. Confirmed reports indicated the death toll was five.
Some forty people were treated for injuries sustained in the attack; many were living in refugee shelters along the road near the airport. Several shells which fell short of the airport hit the temporary housing.
The attack demonstrated the increasing pressure being put on the capital by encircling Communist forces. The Khmer army is hard pressed to Keep the Communist guerrillas from cutting Phnom Penh's vital supply roads.
Only heavy bombing by the Americans has allowed food to reach the capital. The uncertainty of the military situation has led British and Australian diplomats to evacuate their wives and children from the beleaguered city.
Western diplomats estimate the capital is under its greatest threat in the last three years, as every day, government-controlled territory shrinks.