There's been renewed fighting around the town of Ben Cat only 25 miles (40 Kms) from Saigon.
SV Ben Cat street scene with stall holders
GV ZOOM INTO CU Woman threading sugar cane into chopping machine
SV Soldiers relax in roadside bar (2 shots)
SV Soldier unpacks shell (2 shots)
GV & CU Troops on tank
SV PAN FROM Troops in bunker to explosions on horizon
SV ZOOM INTO CU Soldier looking through binoculars
LV Shells exploding
SV PAN Troops patrolling through bombed Buddhist temple
Initials BB/2228 NC/JB/BB/2239
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Background: There's been renewed fighting around the town of Ben Cat only 25 miles (40 Kms) from Saigon.
The area's believed to have been used as a base for staging recent mortar and rocket attacks on the South Vietnamese capital.
The South Vietnamese say it's a fresh Communist attack , the communists say the south Vietnamese are trying to gain control over more territory.
The fighting around Ben Cat is some of the fiercest in the renewed hostilities in South Vietnam. The south vietnamese have committed a division of 10,000 men to the battle to match a similar number of North Vietnamese troops in the area surrounding the town.
The south Vietnamese are mainly relying on their heavy artillery to contain the communist forces and claim to have killed at least 75 communist troops during the last few days while 26 of their own men are missing, one has been killed and nine have been wounded in the clashes.
The fighting in the area is indicative of a change of tactics by the North Vietnamese. From the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement in January last year until September of last year both sides fought localised, probing battles.
Since September, the Communist troops have committed themselves more and more to fighting in divisional strength with armoured support. This is the style of the clashes being fought around Ben Cat in the south and, more recently, in the northern provinces of south Vietnam.