Heavy fighting has flared up again in Cambodia, this time around the provincial capital of Kampot.
Heavy fighting has flared up again in Cambodia, this time around the provincial capital of Kampot. The coastal town near the South Vietnamese border has been isolated by insurgent forces for over a year. Only communications with other Government-held parts of the country is by sea or air. The present offensive now threatens the airport and all telephone links have been cut.
Some 45,000 people are penned up in Kampot. Water supplies are running low following the capture last week by the Khmer Rouge of the town's main reservoir. Refugees have been driven into the town by the fighting; hundreds have fled by boat.
Khmer Government spokesmen report that the insurgents are -- for the first time -- using captured American howitzers and armoured personnel carriers. Heavy fighting is going on within three miles of Kampot; a few shells have already landed on the town killing and wounding nine civilians.
The Government has rushed in 5,000 re-inforcements by sea. Heavy artillery is also being moved in to bolster the defences. Reports of the progress of the fighting are still sketchy because of poor communications.