Looting spread through Phnom Penh...the rice-starved capital of the Khmer Republic....on Friday as groups of?
Looting spread through Phnom Penh...the rice-starved capital of the Khmer Republic....on Friday as groups of armed soldiers roamed the city smashing ransacking stalls. The wave of looting, which continued for some 36 hours, was triggered off by officials statements that...because of a national food crisis...the government was to requisition all low-quality rice. In less than an hour the central market of Phnom Penh was stripped bare by groups of armed soldiers. Reports from the city suggest that military police were unable to prevent the looting. Later in the evening the military police opened fire on armed soldiers seen looting. The dwindling of rice supplies has been aggravated through the cutting of Highway Five by the Vietcong.
SYNOPSIS: A struggle crowd gathers at the broken back gate of a shop in Phnom Penh on Friday as armed soldiers of the Khmer Republic inside joined in a wave of looting. They were all trying to get supplies of rice.
Frequent gunfire was heard but the military police in the city were, for many hours, powerless to stop the rampage.
Shop and stall owners throughout Phnom Penh protested loudly as their stocks of rice were stolen....literally from their grasp. The wave of looting followed official statements that the government planned to "requisition" all low-quality rice because of a national food crisis...and because of reports of hoarding.
Some hours after these scenes were filmed the military police opened fire on the marauding groups of armed soldiers who had earlier stripped Phnom Penh's central market bare within an hour. The dwindling rice supply situation has been aggravated by the cutting of Highway Five by the Vietcong.