The fight for Phnom Penh continues. Government forces have struck back at Communist troops who?
The fight for Phnom Penh continues. Government forces have struck back at Communist troops who have come within easy strike distance of the Khmer capital. On Sunday (29 April) American F-III and Phantom jets streaked across the skies of the city to carry out bombing strikes just in front of the advancing Government troops on the eastern bank of the Mekong River.
As the Government soldiers secured the immediate river bank facing the city, military sources reported that communists were pulling back into marshy ground a short distance away from the river taking their rocket launchers with them.
Two small battalions of rocket specialists -- about 250 men each -- are among the anti-Government forces close to Phnom Penh, it is reported.
Apart from the east bank unit, another with better supplies is said to be north-west of the capital. Both units are within easy range of the city and its airport.
More than 80 casualties were inflicted int he airport area during the past few days.
Government forces have been quick to retaliate. They fight back herd in bids to ease the pressure on Phnom Penh -- a city filling more and more each day with refugees from war-torn areas. The refugees have fled from the danger of military engagements in their fields and villages. Hunger has been another spur taking them away from home and drawing them to the capital city.
Dust storms and drought have ruined the chance of even the most frugal crop from surviving. So the people of the homesteads surrounding Phnom Penh come in to the city, hopeful of finding better conditions and something with which to fill their empty stomachs.They are sad faced and shocked, listless and dejected.
The troops give as much assistance as they can to the fleeing refugees along the roads and paths into Phnom Penh, carrying pitiful bundles and lifelong possessions for them.