In South Vietnam the battle for Quang Duc province continues after five weeks of bitter fighting.
In South Vietnam the battle for Quang Duc province continues after five weeks of bitter fighting. The Province is on the border with the Khmer Republic, 100 miles (160 Kms) north-east of Saigon. The South Vietnamese consider that the communists regard the battle as extremely important, and it has certainly become the latest flash-point in the post-ceasefire fighting.
The district town of Kien Duc is in the centre of the battle-zone. Earlier this month it was over-run by communist tanks, but the South Vietnamese have since recaptured it without a fight. There is no relaxation of tension however. On Tuesday (11 December), communist forces attacked Government infantry units around the town. A Government spokesman said that five communists had been killed, while the South Vietnamese had suffered one dead and one wounded.
The South Vietnamese High Command has stated that since the battle for the province first began, five weeks ago, approximately on thousand North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers have been killed. The Commend spokesman also claimed that 27 Soviet built tanks had been destroyed. He did not give any figures for South Vietnamese casualties, but a week before Government losses were put at 37 dead, 124 missing, and 90 wounded.
A North Vietnamese deserter has reported that Hanoi's top soldier in the south, Lieutenant General Hoang Van Thai, is personally commanding the battle. If true, it reinforces the impression that the communists regard the battle as strategically important.