President Lon Nol of the Khmer Republic visited the city of Kompong Cham on Wednesday (7th November), the scene of several clashes between Government forces and insurgents in recent weeks.
President Lon Nol of the Khmer Republic visited the city of Kompong Cham on Wednesday (7th November), the scene of several clashes between Government forces and insurgents in recent weeks. Thirty rebels were killed in fighting at towns a few miles from the city about the time the President made his visit.
In September there were bitter street battles in Kompong Cham - the third largest city in the Republic. The flare-up came when the Communist led insurgents made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city and establish an alternate capital for the country. In October, the airport came under fire. This attack was interpreted by military experts as an attempt to discourage the Government from landing aircraft there again. The experts believe the rebel forces want to keep the city as isolated as possible until the end of the monsoon season when they are expected to renew their attacks. On November 1st rockets crashed into a residential area of Kompong Cham, wounding four people.
During his morale boosting visit, President Lon Nol inspected the wreckage, and presented several medals to Government soldiers who have been defending the city.
Kompong Cham is of considerable strategic importance to the Government, as it straddles Highway Five - the main road into the rice-growing province of Battambang, which was isolated soon after the U.S. bombing ended in August.
SYNOPSIS: President Lon Nol of ??? ???er Republic made a morals ???osstim ??? it to the city of ??? ???ham, in the northwest of the co??? Wednesday.
The city - the third largest in the Republic - has come under repeated attack from the insurgent forces in recent months, but the Government forces have grimly held on. It straddles the highway leading to the rice-growing province of Battambang, and president Lon Nol's Government is determined not to lose such a strategic position to the Communists.
The official visitors called at the Provincial Governor's Palace.
Military experts say, the people who live in Kompong Cham can expect to come under renewed attack when the monsoon season ends. Several were wounded earlier this month when rockets fell on a residential area of the city.
During President Lon Nol's visit, he presented medals and promotions for the men charged with defending the city.
Two mon??? were decorated and a colonel was promoted to Brigadier General.
The President also visited the city hospital and distributed money.