Thousands of refugees have been streaming steadily into Qui Nhon Province early this week as South Vietnamese troops battled Communist forces for control of a vital stretch of Highway 1.
QUI NHON PROVINCE, 485 MILES (760 kms) NORTHEAST OF SAIGON, SOUTH VIETNAM 7 AUGUST 1974 ( REUTERS - TRAN HUU TRONG)
GV & MV refugees arriving by boats (2 shots)
GV refugees coming ashore
GV refugees unloading belonging
GV refugee camp (2 shots)
GV troops advancing along highway
GV dead bodies along highway (2 shots)
GV troops advancing
GV explosion (2 shots)
GV woman with baby walking along highway
Background: Thousands of refugees have been streaming steadily into Qui Nhon Province early this week as South Vietnamese troops battled Communist forces for control of a vital stretch of Highway 1.
Many of the 7,000 refugees arrived by boat. Others fled from Phu My district down the north-south Highway 1 after their villages were shelled by Communist artillery fire on Tuesday (6 August).
Government troops for the past three days have been trying to re-open a segment of Highway 1, six miles (10 kms) north of Phu My district town along the central coastal province of Binh Dinh. It was lost to Communist forces on July 29.
Latest field reports indicated government troops have recaptured the section of Highway 1 between Phu My and Sa Huynh, 40 miles (65 kms) to the north. Government casualties were not reported, but Communist losses were put at 17 killed.
Military sources interpreted the Communist activity along that section of the road as part of a plan to gain access to the fishing port of De Di, east of Phu My.
The general level of fighting in South Vietnam for the past three weeks have been the highest since the Paris Peace Agreement was signed last year. President Thiou of South Vietnam has described the current level of fighting ??? the beginning of another Communist "general offensive".