The Vietnam ceasefire entered its second week on Sunday (4 Feb), but the fighting continued.?
The Vietnam ceasefire entered its second week on Sunday (4 Feb), but the fighting continued. It's eased off considerably, but both the North and South Vietnamese Governments have reported serious violations of the ceasefire over the pas few days. However, the fighting was expected to go through a 'damping down' when the 27 men of the International team to help supervise the ceasefire arrived in Hue on Monday (5 Feb). The commission says it hopes that its very presence in fighting areas should deter fighting.
But around Trang Bang on Highway Four on Friday (2 Feb), big battles continued. One raged on the first day of the Vietnamese New Year (TET) when South Vietnamese troops assaulted a small hamlet in Trang Bang.... a hamlet which had been occupied only a day earlier by the Viet Cong. The troops and four civilians entered the hamlet under fire, but in a matter of minutes, they were encircled by North Vietnamese troops. The South Vietnamese man took cover from the North Vietnamese attack until their own jet bombers and helicopter gunships came to their rescue.
On the other side of Saigon, the hunt for any evidence of fighting continues. On Friday, South Vietnamese troops found the Viet Cong flag flying near some tall trees near Ding Toung Province, about 48 miles south of Saigon. They made their way to the jungle village, tore down the flag and flew the South Vietnamese flag in its place.
SYNOPSIS: Even as the Vietnam ceasefire moves into the second week, the fighting rolls on. On Friday, South Vietnamese troops moved in on a small hamlet near Trang Ban to take it back from the Viet Cong, who'd held it only a day earlier. The troops went in with four civilians under heavy fire, but before they made it to the village, they were surrounded by North Vietnamese troops. The South Vietnamese troops. The South Vietnamese forces had to take cover until their attackers were fired on by South Vietnamese jet fighters and helicopter gunships. The fighting came to within 200 feet of the South Vietnamese troops.
Eventually, the North Vietnamese guns were silenced and the troops got through safely to the hamlet where they tore down the Viet Cong flag and retook the area. This attack came on the first day of TET, the Vietnamese New year, and that first day is -- by tradition -- supposed to set the pattern for the year.
While the fighting continues on the west of Saigon, it's more peaceful south of the capital.
South Vietnamese forces are hunting for evidence of Viet Cong holdout. This one they found by looking for the familiar flag of the Viet Cong. There was no fighting. They tore it down and replaced it with the official flag of South Vietnam.