Ever since three South Vietnamese outposts were captured by North Vietnamese troops in Quang Duc Province, 250 kms (140 miles) north eat of Saigon, government troops in the area have been preparing for a possible counterattack.
Aerial shot of Quang Duc Province
105mm artillery firing (3 shots)
Government soldier talking on radio phone
Government solders setting around and wounded soldiers (2 shots)
Government soldiers boarding truck (3 shots)
Trucks parked along highway (2 shots)
GV Gia Wghia
Solders walking into restaurant
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Background: Ever since three South Vietnamese outposts were captured by North Vietnamese troops in Quang Duc Province, 250 kms (140 miles) north eat of Saigon, government troops in the area have been preparing for a possible counterattack.
Almost daily, government troops have been firing rounds of 155mm shells at suspected enemy positions. Although there has been no major battle so far, the South Vietnamese High Command said fighting in the past few days has resulted in 126 North Vietnamese dead, mostly by airstrikes. 45 Government troops were reportedly killed or wounded.
Following one of the biggest setbacks since the January ceasefire, when Bu Prang, Bu Song and Dak Song were overrun by North Vietnamese troops, South Vietnam has been reinforcing its troops strength in Quang Duc. There are some 4,000 government troops, including and elite Ranger force, currently stationed in this north east province along the Khmer border.
Highway 14, linking Quang Duc's main town of Gia Nghia with Saigon, had been cut following the capture of the three military outposts. The province's once prosperous lumber industry has been at a standstill.
The town of Gia Nghia, created in 1959 as a resettlement area for refugees form North Vietnam, is nearly deserted. Most of its stores are closed as most of the town's 5,000 inhabitants have left. The only people found patronising those stores and restaurants that are still open are government troops.