Armoured Personnel Carriers - sent to the relief of a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion near Lai Khe - on Tuesday (15 August) came under North Vietnamese mortar fire when they became bogged down in a paddy field.
MV & CU Troops aboard lorries
MVs Rangers move through thick undergrowth (4 shots)
CU TRACKING SHOT..Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and troops move through scrub (5 shots)
MV APC being towed out of muddy paddy-field
SV Ranger walks towards APCs, stranded n???mud
MV Dog on APC - mortar explosions in background
MVs APCs move through muddy fields
GVs mortar explosions
MV PAN stranded APCs in paddyfield
GV APC in fore-ground, explosion with smoke in distance
SV PAN..APC towing through paddyfield
Initials ES. 1535 ES. 1515
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Armoured Personnel Carriers - sent to the relief of a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion near Lai Khe - on Tuesday (15 August) came under North Vietnamese mortar fire when they became bogged down in a paddy field.
The carriers were called for after the Rangers were forced to withdraw from an area near Lai Khe, 25 miles (40 kms) north of the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon.
The carriers began their advance before dawn - and it was in the darkness that the vehicles became bogged down. As other armoured personnel carriers tried to free the trapped vehicles, North Vietnamese mortar shells exploded near by. However, none of the carriers was hit.
The Rangers' commander called in air strikes which pounded the suspected Communist mortar positions. Later, the South Vietnamese troops resumed their advance but made only slow progress.
Latest reports from the area say sporadic Communist shelling of both Lai Khe and Ben Cat, suggesting a renewal of North Vietnamese interest in the Mekong Delta region.