In a big tank and artillery battle, fighting has been raging closer to the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, than at any time since the Communist offensive of 1972.
SV PAN Troops along Highway 28 (2 shots)
SV Troops over bridge
GV Engineers rebuilding bridge (3 shots)
SV Frogmen diving
MV SV and GV Workers round bridge (4 shots)
Ground to air Helicopter overhead (2 shots)
GV TILT UP and MVs Seven dead Vietcong
GV and SCUs, Troops looking at captured weapons (8 shots)
Initials ET/238 ET/257
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Background: In a big tank and artillery battle, fighting has been raging closer to the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, than at any time since the Communist offensive of 1972. Communist tanks were reported closer to the capital than ever before. And Government forces were fighting fiercely to prevent the city coming within range of heavy 130 mm artillery.
There were reports of hand-to-hand fighting just 15 miles (25 kms) north-west of Saigon, as Communist forces attacked a Government Army camp on Friday (17 August).
East of the main fighting area, seven Viet Cong guerrillas were killed during an attack on Tan Dinh village on Highway 15. Government troops there displayed rockets, guns and explosives they captured during the fight.
Road 28, running north-west of the capital, also received the attention of the Communists. Viet Cong frogmen attacked and blew u a bridge on the highway on Thursday night. As Government engineers worked to repair the damage, helicopters hovered overhead firing rockets at nearby Communists positions.
SYNOPSIS: South Vietnamese Government troops move u towards a big battle that developed north-west of Saigon last week. It's the closest that fighting has raged to the capital than at any time since the Communists offensive of 1972. Viet Cong frogmen destroyed this bridge on Road Twenty-Eight, just fifteen miles from the capital. Government sappers worked to repair it so that reinforcements could move up.
Tanks, artillery and hand-to-hand fighting were reported in the major battle which developed nearby when Communist forces attacked at Government Army camp. Communist tanks were reported closer to the capital than ever before.
While the bridge repairs continued, helicopters patrolled overhead and were in action firing rockets at nearby Viet Cong positions.
There was also action on nearby Highway Thirteen. Seven Viet Cong guerrillas were killed during an attack on the village of Tan Dinh. Government troops captured an assortment of weapons, rockets and explosives. Though the officials view is that the current fighting to the north-west poses no real threat to the capital - Saigon river presents the Communists with a natural barrier - there are fears that the city might soon be within range of heavy hundred-and-thirty mm. artillery.