Communist insurgents have advanced to positions close enough to launch effective rocket and mortar attacks on both phnom Penh's international Airport and the Khmer Republic's largest ammunition dump, military sources said on Friday (3 January).
GV Troops in trucks and armoured vehicles on Highway Four. (2 shots)
MV AND BV Army recruits on marching drill along Highway Four. (2 shots)
GV TRAVEL SHOT following trucks pulling artillery through Phnom Penh. (2 shots)
SCU AND SV Troops firing mortars.
MV AND CU General Deng Layom issuing instructions over field radio.
LV Smoke coming from front line.
SV AND CU Soldiers carrying dead soldier on stretcher and placing him into ambulance and ambulance away (5 shots)
Initials VS 23.08/VS 23.32
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Background: Communist insurgents have advanced to positions close enough to launch effective rocket and mortar attacks on both phnom Penh's international Airport and the Khmer Republic's largest ammunition dump, military sources said on Friday (3 January).
Insurgent forces moved to within 3 kilometres (about 1.8 miles of Pochentong Airport, on Highway Four - which is about 14 kms (about 8 1/2 miles) from the centre of Phnom Penh.
Government reinforcements were rushed to the area, but the Phnom Penh government have been hard-pressed for reserve troops. This has enabled the insurgents to advance over 10 kms (just over 6 miles) since the initial New Years Day attacks in that area.
Fighting was taking place only 1 1/2 kms (just over half a mile) from the Kambol Training Camp for army recruits, but their schedule was not interrupted and they continued marching drill on Highway Four.
North of the capital, the 7th Infantry Division of Government troops remained encircled about 15 kms (just over nine miles) from the city and their Commanding Officer, General Deng Layom, was in the front line commanding relief troops trying to break through. Government casualties since the New Year's Day offensive started run into hundreds, with hundreds more missing and believed killed.
Observers in Phnom Penh said that the assaults have dimmed hopes of any possible talks between the Government and the Khmer Rouge insurgents aimed at restoring peace after five years of war.