South Vietnamese planes and helicopters attacked the ruins of the communist held village of An Dien on Saigon's northern defence line on Sunday (2 June).
GV Tanks advancing (3 shots)
GV Troops along field
GV PAN helicopter firing rockets to explosion
GV Helicopters firing machine guns
GV Helicopters firing rockets ZOOM IN to explosion
GV Jeep carrying wounded soldiers
GV Smoke from firing in distance
GV Aircraft firing incendiary bombs
GV Explosion on ground
GV Soldiers withdrawing along road (3 shots)
Initials OS/1830 OS/1853
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South Vietnamese planes and helicopters attacked the ruins of the communist held village of An Dien on Saigon's northern defence line on Sunday (2 June).
The Government Saigon Command hoped the rocket and machine gun attacks would enable their ground troops to resume their advance on communist positions at An Dien which is only 25 miles (40 kilometres) from Saigon.
The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese captured An Dien last month. The thousand government troops that have been trying to recapture the village since last Friday (31 May) are suffering heavy losses. Unofficial reports said at least 60 government soldiers were killed, wounded or missing by the afternoon of the first day's fighting.
Communist troops inside An Dien are reported to have good advanced observation points to guide their artillery, rocket and mortar fire and soldiers dug into the ruins of the village are putting up fierce resistance with machine-guns, mortars and shoulder launched rockets as well as small arms.
The communists also called up tanks for the first time to combat government tanks sent in against them. The Saigon Command has brought in fresh troops to replace a battle weary battalion of Rangers involved in the advance.