Highway Four, the road link between the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and the sea at Kompong Som is now open, although not yet used by civilian traffic.
MV troops unloading boxes from lorry and stacking them at side of lorry
MV tanks and guns on road.
MV soldiers walking up road
MV soldiers walking through jungle
MV soldiers firing automatic weapons (3 shots)
Soldiers firing mortars (3 shots)
MV soldiers searching area recently shelled
MV soldier passing feeding table, PAN to bunker
MCU dead Viet Cong in bunker
MV another dead body
MV and another
MCU soldier checking bunker
CU PAN from dead VC to bunker
MCU back on road, wounded Cambodian soldier helped onto truck
Initials CM/BH/PS/1600 CM/BH/PS/1630
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Background: Highway Four, the road link between the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and the sea at Kompong Som is now open, although not yet used by civilian traffic.
Some 13,500 Cambodian and South Vietnamese troops fought for days last week to clear the road, which had been closed for almost two months by North Vietnamese troops dug in on the heights of Pich Nil Pass 62 miles (102 Kms) south-west of Phnom Penh. This film of heavy fighting was shot on the 20th and 21st of January.
The Cambodian troops charged into Pich Nil Pass in an effort to join up with South Vietnamese troops advancing along the highway. Their sudden thrust ended three days of frustration for the Cambodians, who had been blocked by strong Viet Cong positions at the entrance to the Pass.
They raised the Cambodian Republic's flag above the Pass after capturing the holiday chalet of ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk. The troops had feared beforehand that the South Vietnamese might reach this landmark before them.
Fear of heavy Communist attack has shifted in the past few days to the capital itself, at the start of the Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.
On Wednesday (27 January) tanks moved through Phnom Penh during the night to throw a protective ring of armour around the capital as armed militia searched houses of Vietnamese and Chinese residents.
More than 20 battalions of Cambodian troops moved out on clearing operations to the west and north-west of the city, and the Cambodian High Command reported that the military situation in and around Phnom Penh had improved.
During the previous night the only attacks reported by the command were some distance from the city, including one on Saang, 18 miles (30 Kms) south of the capital, which has already been fought over three times in the war.