The heavy fighting in the Khmer Republic -- formerly known as Cambodia -- just northeast of the capital of Phnom Penh, has continued into its second week.
The heavy fighting in the Khmer Republic -- formerly known as Cambodia -- just northeast of the capital of Phnom Penh, has continued into its second week. Khmer Government troops have taken on seasoned North Vietnamese troops as they attempt to extend Government control in areas around Phnom Penh.
On Friday (June 4) elite Khmer Krom troops - the Khmer Krom are ethnic Khmers born in South Vietnam who have returned to fight for their country - re-occupied the town of Prek Tameak without opposition.
The Government troops, under the command of the colourful Colonel Danh Croch, offered prayers at a makeshift altar before moving forward into more heavily contested areas.
Since May 29, the Khmer Republic has lost about 200 soldiers killed on operations, but claim to have killed mere than 600 enemy troops. VISNEWS staff cameraman, Neil Davis was with the Government forces on their latest campaign.
SYNOPSIS: Khmer Government troops board special landing craft to carry them across the Mekong River and into action against North Vietnamese forces, just northeast of Phnom Penh.
South Vietnamese troops fighting in the area have suffered heavy losses and withdrawn. Now the Khmer troops are taking on an elite force of North Vietnamese regulars.
Their target this time was the town of Prek Tameak on the East bank of the river. They found the town almost deserted and re-occupied it without opposition.
The soldiers were under the command of the colourful Colonel Danh Croch who prefers to wear peasant dress rather than the uniform appropriate to his rank. After taking the town he offered prayers for his recently killed troops.
Hundreds of refugees streamed out of the area from their peasant homes and took refuge in a Buddhist pagoda on the outskirts of the town.
Colonel Danh Croch's troops than headed into enemy-held territory under a heavy mortar barrage which continued for much of the day. The Khmer High Command say they have lost about 200 soldiers killed and many hundreds wounded in recent operations. But they also claim to have killed at least 600 enemy troops.