Friday, May 19, 1972
Reds Hit Province Capital
Two Pathet Lao companies and one North Vietnamese company assaulted Khongsedone, capital of Wapikhamthong Province, just before dawn.
The Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese destroyed a bridge on the outskirts of town and setup a roadblock three miles south of the town, sources said. Heavy fighting is reported along the town's southern edge.
A Laotian battalion has been dispatched from Pakse, 31 miles to the south to relieve the 200 regular and village defense soldiers now defending the town, sources added.
One report from Khongsedone said that the U.S.-Filipino hospital in the town has been evacuated but sources in Vientiane are unable to confirm the report.
Meanwhile, in Northern Laos, a Laotian military truck detonated a mine on Route Seven, 6 miles northeast of the crossroads town of Sala Phou Khoun.
Shrapnel from the mine hit "fewer than 10" of the soldiers killing "several," sources said.
Also in Northern Laos, irregular troops of Meo Gen. Vang Pao Monday walked into Muong Nham, 100 miles northeast of Vientiane, meeting no North Vietnamese resistance.
Government troops last Thursday evening abandoned the village when two companies of Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese troops attacked their positions under a hail of mortar and recoilless rifle fire.
"Reds Hit Province Capital", by (AP), published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes Friday, May 19, 1972 and reprinted from European and Pacific Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication copyright, 2002 European and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
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