Since fighting erupted between communist insurgents and Government forces in the Mekong Delta area of the Khmer Republic, between 50 to 70 thousand people have been forced to leave their homes and take refuge in the ferry town of Neak Luong.
GV Refugee camp at Neak Luong (2 shots)
SV General Hou Hong Sin arrives by helicopter
SV Refugee children watch
SV General addresses refugees and presents one of them with a cheque (3 shots)
SV PAN UP FROM Refugee children TO helicopter gunship overhead
SV Gunship lands
SV Gunship re-armed with rockets (2 shots)
SV Gunship takes off
GV PAN DOWN FROM Gunship overhead TO refugee children below
AERIAL VIEW OF Neak Luong and Mekong River
Initials CL/2311 CL/2330
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Background: Since fighting erupted between communist insurgents and Government forces in the Mekong Delta area of the Khmer Republic, between 50 to 70 thousand people have been forced to leave their homes and take refuge in the ferry town of Neak Luong.
Their arrival has aggravated the already-desperate situation in the town, which is only a mile (more than one kilometres) from an island in the Mekong river which has been captured by the insurgents and is under fire from Government helicopter gunships and gunboats.
Government defenders in Neak Luong, 28 miles (45 kilometre) southeast of Phnom Penh, urgently appealed for supplies by air on Thursday (9 January). The town has been cut off by road from the capital since the fighting erupted on New Year's Day and insurgent forces along the Mekong river have been preventing Government convoys from using the waterway.
The town's military commander, Colonel An Nil, told newsmen by 'phone that supplies of ammunition, petrol and food were running dangerously low.