Government forces mounted a rigorous counter-attack on Thursday (August 9) against communist infiltrators threatening Phnom Penh airport, seven miles (12 kms) north-east of the Khmer Republic's capital.
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Background: Government forces mounted a rigorous counter-attack on Thursday (August 9) against communist infiltrators threatening Phnom Penh airport, seven miles (12 kms) north-east of the Khmer Republic's capital.
Backed by a series of heavy air strikes, they cut off the infiltrators' progress towards the airport at the village of Kap Srauv -- where a brief but bloody battle ended in a victory for government troops, and substantial withdrawal by the communist units.
On Saturday (August 11), the Khmer High Command said Phnom Penh was no longer threatened by communist guerrilla forces, and that government troops moving out of the city were meeting little resistance. The reason given for this improved situation, after weeks of guerrilla harassment around Phnom Penh, came -- said a Command spokesman -- "because of our recent successes on the battlefield."
Meanwhile, American bombing strikes are moving farther from the city area into the surrounding countryside. They dare due to stop altogether, officially on August 15.
Even so, the South Vietnamese Government on Saturday began evacuating to Saigon some of its 10,000 nationals who live in Phnom Penh.