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: 9f 22 Gotf tburfl Jggiste^Moil,jgalasburfl f J H,. Thursday, July 1 % 1.973 2 Cambodian Battalions, U.S. Planes Engage Forces f'l i PHNOM PENH (UPI) - Camtodian helicopters airlifted (wo battalions, or MO tfoops, to portions 12 miles south of Phnom Penh today to engage entrenched Communist forces there. Newsmen at the scene said U.S. F4 and Fill bombers flew heavy air strikes in the region near Highway 3, hitting Communist positions before the government's airborne assault began. Heavy fighting was reported earlier in regions 10 miles south and west of the capital, with U.S. warplanes reportedly carrying out intense raids in support of the government offensive. Assault Began The airborne assault began when ten helicopters airlifted the first of 800 government troops into an area one-half mile south of the Prey Thanot River, the same region where two battalions of government troops have been isolated for several days in a well-fortified school. The government front lines are now located about a mile north of the river. There were no immediate reports from the military command on the progress of the government assault, but newsmen at the scene said (ten Nguon Ly Kheang, commander of the 3rd division, told them the assault was aimed at liberating the town of Kampong Rantuot, 155 miles from the capital. It fell six days ago. Inching deter Communist troops have been inching closer to the capital in the past week along the southern defense perimeter. Government forces launched a counter offensive Wednesday, attacking Communist troops in an attempt to drive them farther from the capital. Weyand on Fact-Finding Viet Tour Helping Hand This Cambodian soldier appears to be in considerable pain as a comrade helps along to safety on a highway leading to the capital, Phnom Penh. NEA TRUCK INSURANCE 1 UNIT OR 100 UNITS CALL FOR A QUOTE TODAY AND SAVE — SAVE — SAVE Prompt Local Claim Service ROBERT MILLER AGENCY CHERRY & SIMMONS 343-1T68 SAIGON (UPI) - Gen Frederick C. Weyand, com mander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, today toured central and northern South Vietnam, where Vietnamese have been fighting each other relentlessly since the cease-fire took effect almost six months ago. Weyand, who was the U.S commander in Vietnam at the time of the Jan. 28 cease-fire, is on an Indochina fact-finding mission on orders from Defense Secretary James Schlesinger He conferred for an hour with President Nguyen Van Thieu Wednesday and leaves Friday for Phnom Penh. It was widely believed Weyand discussed with Thieu next month's U.S. bombing halt in Cambodia and the subject presumably will top the agenda during his Phnom Penh talks.. U.S. Embassy sources said Weyand conferred today with South Vietnamese commanders at Pleiku in the Central Highlands, 230 miles north of PREMIUM IN EVERY WAY EXCEPT PRICE Saigon, and at Da Nang on the northeastern coast 370 miles north of the capital The areas Weyand visited have been the scenes of continuous post-truce fighting and the Saigon command said today seven Russian-built 122mm rockets hit the main airfield at Pleiku Wednesday, about 24 hours before Weyand's visit there. The command said one soldier Was wounded. At Kontum, 30 miles north of Pleiku and the scene of intense fighting for the past five weeks, the command reported a small- arms skirmish at dawn today, Four Communist soldiers were killed and five government infantrymen were wounded, the command said. Authoritative sources In the capital said they baltoved the Communist* were retreating sVghtly from their positions in ths face of the heavy American bombing, which Cambodian officers said Wednesday killed 200 insurgents only nine miles south of the capital. Newsmen in the area Wednesday said there was furious ground fighting along Highway 2, only nine miles south or (ha capital. Force Dot The high command said government troops were conducting operations to force Communist troops from their newly won positions, but it did not report on the success of the operation. To the northwest of the capital, U .S. warplanes con tinued to fly aif atritew near Phnom Basset, where govern* ment forces earlier linked up with a besieged battalion. Air strikes also were placed along Highways 4 and 5, the newsmen said. Beth highways apparently nsmineu open. 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