South Vietnamese and American forces this week declared a 24-hour truce to mark Buddha's 2,514th birthday.
South Vietnamese and American forces this week declared a 24-hour truce to mark Buddha's 2,514th birthday. Though the situation was generally quiet around the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, elsewhere in the country there were reports of widespread attacks by the Viet Cong -- who did not recognise the ceasefire.
The truce ran from noon on Monday to noon Tuesday (May 19). It covered two days because Tuesday was also the birthday of Ho Chi Minh and the South Vietnamese did not wish to appear to be paying homage to the late North Vietnamese leader.
While troops stationed in and around the capital prayed in Buddhist temples or relaxed from their duties, other units throughout the country were hit by an estimated 166 attacks.
By the time the truce ended, a dozen South Vietnamese and American troops had been killed and nearly 100 wounded. The American Military Command claimed that 141 Viet Cong guerillas had been killed in the attacks.
The truce, the third to mark Buddha's birthday during the Vietnamese war, did not apply to American and South Vietnamese units operating in Cambodia. They continued their sweep against Viet Cong bases and supply depots in the border region.