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U.S. Bombs Hit Ho Chi Minh Trail In Effort to Stop New Offensive


American bombers hit the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos yesterday in an effort to thwart a drive that North Vietnam is reported to be planning in Cambodia late this month.

Intelligence reports indicate that the North Vietnamese may be in a position by the end of January to launch a new, but relatively small Tet offensive in Cambodia. The Tet lunar new year starts Jan. 27.

To counter their buildup, B-52 and smaller tactical bombers have been striking the Ho Chi Minh supply trail daily.

As the sustained bombing continued, the U.S. command disclosed the loss of another plane taking part in the campaign. It was the 86th aircraft announced lost in Laos by American officials since March 10.

So far in the recent bombing campaign, U.S. planes have not struck at the Mu Gia Pass on North Vietnam's western frontier with Laos. The pass leads into the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Nixon Would Bomb

President Nixon said Monday he would order air strikes against the Mu Gia pass if North Vietnam moves troops and supplies through the mountain gateway at a time when U.S. forces are pulling out of South Vietnam.

In other action, one American was killed and another wounded in an ambush of a U.S. military convoy on Highway 20 in the central highlands of South Vietnam.

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