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North Vietnamese Win Jungle Battle in Laos


U.S. helicopters flew South Vietnamese reinforcements into Laos yesterday in an attempt to halt a North Vietnamese drive against beleaguered government forces.

South Vietnamese troops suffered their heaviest casualties in a single day of battle since the Laotian invasion began. One hundred thirty men were killed or wounded in jungle fighting two miles from Firebase Lolo.

In the last four days Saigon forces have abandoned two key positions, Firebase Lolo and Firebase A Loui, and have retreated 15 miles toward the South Vietnamese border.

Despite the recent turn of events, American military spokesmen stillmaintain that the invasion is a success. William Westmoreland, former commander of U.S. troops in South Vietnam and current Army Chief of Staff, declared that the withdrawing of Saigon forces "was not a retreat; it was planned."

In Paris, the chief communist delegates boycotted the weekly session of the Vietnam peace talks for the third week in a row in protest of what they say are U.S. plans to invade North Vietnam.

U.S. Ambassador David K: E. Bruce called the protest a "useless maneuver," and indicated that he would still attend the weekly sessions in the future.

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