As forces of the Khmer Government and Communist troops battle for control around the outskirts of Phnom Penh, some of the heaviest fighting since the war escalated into the country has been reported over the last few days.
GV & MV Armoured carriers advance across paddyfield (2 shots)
MV PAN & GVs Troops ditto (4 shots)
GV PAN Troops fire small arms and mortars (5 shots)
GV TO AIR SHOT Gunship firing rockets
SV & MV Troops advancing and firing (2 shots)
MV PAN Wounded being attended to and carried away
GV Troops moving towards village
GV & MV Troops enter village and seizing weapons (3 shots)
GVs Armoured carriers in paddy-field battle (6 shots)
GV & SVs Troops advance through paddyfield and firing (II shots)
GV TO AIR SHOT Gunship firing rockets and soldier watching (4 shots)
CU TILT DOWN Armoured vehicle with wounded driver receiving transfusion (2 shots)
MVs Wounded being carried (3 shots)
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Background: As forces of the Khmer Government and Communist troops battle for control around the outskirts of Phnom Penh, some of the heaviest fighting since the war escalated into the country has been reported over the last few days.
Last Tuesday (23 November), Visnews cameraman Neil Davis accompanied a battalion of crack Khmer Krom troops into a paddyfield battle and shot this account of one of the bloodiest clashes since the fighting around Phnom Penh began.
SYNOPSIS: Fighting around the south-western areas of Phnom Penh in recent weeks has resulted in some of the bloodiest battles since the Indo-China war moved to its newest theatre in the Khmer Republic. Visnews cameraman Neil Davis accompanied a crack Khmer Krem battalion into battle this week, filming a paddyfield battle attempting to drive the Communist forces from the country's vital link with the outside world -- Phnom Penh Airport.
The Khmer troops suffered heavy casualties in their drive towards a small village where the Communists had been co-ordinating their fire-power, and captured weapons and ammunition when they finally reached the huts.
The Government troops moved forward under the cover of armoured personnel carriers and artillery. Several times they were forced the cross the open paddyfield to tackle their seemingly invisible enemy lodged in the tree-line further on.
The Khmer commanders called on American Cobra gunships to dislodge the Communist forces from their positions with rocket attacks and heavy machine-gun fire.
The Khmer Krom troops managed to drive the Communists a mile back from their positions, giving other Government forces room to escalate the fighting in an effort to drive heavy concentrations of Communist troops further back from the outskirts of Phnom Penh. As the battle quietened later in the day, the Khmers moved their wounded out and set up defensive positions.