South Vietnam's invasion force rounded out its first week inside southern Laos on Monday with its advance slowed down.
Gunners brought down two more U.S. helicopters with a reported loss of three men killed and three wounded. A total of 15 American helicopters have now been lost in the Laotian operation, while 11 Americans have been killed, 12 have been wounded, and two are missing.
As of late Monday, the vanguard of the 11,000-man South Vietnamese force was about 15 miles along Highway 9 inside Laos. Meanwhile, other South Vietnamese forces were spread 14 miles to the north and six miles to the south of the highway.
The latest supply stocks and facilities discovered along the Ho Chi Minh trail included an insurgent training center of 400 small houses, large quantities of ammunition and rice, and 400 bicycles.
Help From China
In other developments, Communist China said today it has agreed to extend additional economic and military assistance to North Vietnam this year to help defeat the United States and its allies in Indochina.
It gave no details of the agreement, which, it said, was signed by deputy Premier Li Shien-nien of China and Deputy Premier Le Thanh Nghi of North Vietnam.
According to a dispatch from Phnom Penh, Cambodian troops clashed briefly with North Vietnamese forces close to Highway 7 in northeastern Cambodia. Inside South Vietnam itself, only light and scattered action was reported.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Army announced plans to ban slot machines from its clubs in Vietnam. But Senatorial investigators still intend to determine how the devices got there in the first place.
Last week, the Army said it is removing more than 1700 slot machines because of diminished use and increased difficulty of maintenance in a war zone.