- Title: KHMER REPUBLIC: FORMER COMMUNIST GUERRILLAS FIGHT ON GOVERNMENT SIDE.
- Date: 14th December 1973
- Summary: 1. GV Khmer Navy armoured gunboat on the Tonle Sap firing Cannons into east bank, with spotter in foreground 0.03 2. GROUND TO AIR VIEW Aircraft firing 20mm cannon 0.08 3. LV Gunboat firing, explosions at bank (6 shots) 0.24 4. SV PAN Officer on small boat crosses to east bank 0.34 5. LV & SV Troops including woman (former Khmer Rouge) disembarking (2 shots) 0.47 6. SVs Former Khmer Rouge troops advancing under fires into jungle (rifle shooting) (11 shots) 1.23 7. SV Soldiers running (2 shots) 1.31 8. SV & CU Badly wounded soldier brought back on stretcher (3 shots) 1.41 Initials BB/0112 TM/MR/BB/0102 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA7H9RW8THNI4XOW7DLBIVPRYIY
- Location: HIGHWAY FIVE, KHMER REPUBLIC
- Country: Cambodia
- Duration: 00:01:56
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Former communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas were locked in battle on Wednesday (12 December) with communist troops on the east bank of the Tools Sap River, only twelve miles (20 kms) north of the capital Phnom Penh.
Highway Five, running along the west bank of the river, was cut at the same point for two days, and the government troops -- the former Khmer Ro???ge fighters -- were sent across to secure a foothold on the east bank.
The former communists rallied to the government side about six months age. There had been a regular defection from the communist ranks since the war in the Khmer Republic began in 1970-- but this was the first time a group of defectors had been kept together as a fighting unit.
The Khmer Republic Prime Minister In Ta kept the former Khmer Rouge fighters together because they operated in typical guerrilla style -- unlike other Khmer government forces who've been trained in conventional-style counter-insurgency.
The former Communists number about 200 men -- about two companies. One platoon, about thirty men, fought on the east bank of the Tonle Sap River on Wednesday, supported by a light aircraft fitted with a 20mm cannon and a Khmer Navy gunboat with a heavier-calibre cannon.
The government troops struck at a well-entrenched opposition force of their former comrades. They were outnumbered, but forced the Communists back yard by yard.
One of the government fighters was badly wounded, and was carried back under heavy five from Communist grenades and automatic guns.
SYNOPSIS: A gunboat of the Khmer Republic gave supporting fire on Wednesday to government troops trying to dislodge Communist forces from the east bank of the Tonle Sap River, about twelve miles from the capital Phnom Penh. A light aircraft brought into the battle also gave cannon support.
In this case, the government troops were former communist Khmer Rowge guerrillas who'd rallied to the government side about six months ago. Their task was to expel their former comrades from the east bank of the river. From that position, the Communists had managed to cut the important Highway Five for two days.
The former communists numbered about 200 men. One platoon, about thirty men, crossed to that east bank of the Tonle Sap with the help of aircraft and gunboat cannon support. There had been a regular defection from the communist ranks since the war began in the Khmer Republic in 1970 -- but this was the first time a group of defectors had been kept together as a fighting unit.
The Khmer Republic Prime Minister In Tam kept the former Khmer Rouge fighters together because they operated in typical guerrilla style -- unlike other Khmer government forces who'd been trained in conventional-style counter-insurgency.
The government troops truck at a well-entrenched opposition force. They were outnumber, but slowly forced back the Communists. One of the government soldiers was badly wounded....
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:29th December 1973 12:00