On Tuesday (September 29), after several days of heavy fighting, Cambodian government troops announced the re-capture of the town of Taing Kouk, about 52 miles (83 kms) north of Phnom Penh.
On Tuesday (September 29), after several days of heavy fighting, Cambodian government troops announced the re-capture of the town of Taing Kouk, about 52 miles (83 kms) north of Phnom Penh. Newsmen reported about 6,000 troops in what was described as "uneasy control" of the battered houses and shelters left standing.
As government troops joked with women paratroopers and cooked rice amid the ruins of the village, gunfire was heard crackling from undergrowth less than 300 feet (100 metres) from the main street.
General Thong Van Fanoung, commander of the government task force which entered Taing Kouk last Friday after five days of heavy fighting said that about 3,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were now regrouping in rubber plantations eight miles (12 kms) to the east.
Casualties among the Cambodians were given as 10 killed and 80 wounded in the battle for the village, but government officials later estimated the toll as 70 killed and more than 100 wounded.
The forward government position on the northern outskirts of the town was reported to consist of only a bamboo pole and one jeep-mounted machine gun. Some 500 feet (170 metres) beyond this guerrillas had dug trenches to form a road block.
The village itself had been almost completely flattened by artillery and air strike. Normally occupied by about 3,000 people, its few buildings which remained standing were gutted and filled with bullet holes.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the government force in the Taing Kouk area announced that they had begun a pacification programme to recruit villagers to assist the government against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese.
Major Am Rong, the command spokesman said that Cambodian troops were continuing to secure their supply route and the area around the battered village.
War action was reported to have dropped to a low level in Cambodia overnight and the high command reported only two attacks against government positions.