Fighting between Khmer Republic troops and Communist forces is intensifying on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh, as the Communists strengthen their grip on the city.
GV PAN Troops preparing to leave suburb of Phnom Penh as children look on (2 shots)
SV PAN Troops loading truck
MV PAN Girl soldiers in truck
GV & SV Troops in truck (3 shots)
GV PAN FROM Troops in truck TO People looking on
GV & MV Lorry along road, following truck loaded with troops, troops get out of truck (2 shots)
MV & CU Commander briefing officers (2 shots)
SV Girl soldiers along road with troops
GV & MV Troops firing mortars (3 shots)
GV PAN Dead & wounded cattle caught by cross-fire (2 shots)
Initials ESP/2154 ESP/2230
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Background: Fighting between Khmer Republic troops and Communist forces is intensifying on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh, as the Communists strengthen their grip on the city.
Sections of the 40-odd battalions of Communists encircling Phnom Penh are now within rocket range of the city, which is running short of food, fuel and ammunition. Five supply ships from South Vietnam were expected to arrive on Sunday (15 April) after breaking through the Communist blockade on the Mekong River.
This film was shot less than four miles (6 kilometres) from the outer suburbs of Phnom Penh as Khmer troops reoccupied an area they had abandoned on Thursday after a series of heavy Communist attacks. Two Khmer posts about four miles further south are still encircled by the Communists.
SYNOPSIS: On the outskirts of Phnom Penh, fighting is intensifying between Khmer Government troops and Communist forces who are tightening their grip on the city. These Khmer troops were on their way back to reoccupy a position which they had left on Thursday.
Girl soldiers are an increasingly common sight in the Khmer ranks, as the struggle for Phnom Penh grows more serious. Government forces fell back on Thursday after a series of heavy attacks on the city outskirts.
This area, only four miles from Phnom Penh's outer suburbs, is difficult terrain to defend. Forests and dense bush both aid the attacking Communist forces, who are still surrounding two Khmer positions a few miles further south. Phnom Penh is relying on ships running the gauntlet of Communist gunfire along the Mekong River to bring in desperately-needed supplies.
Both troops and civilians fled the area last week when the Communists attacked. Now they return in force in a determined effort to repel the attackers. About 40 Communist battalions are believed to be encircling Phnom Penh. Some of them are near enough to begin making rocket attacks on the capital city. These cattle were caught in the crossfire as the fighting continued.