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SAIGON--South Vietnamese paratroopers battled communist troops near the outskirts of Quang Tri yesterday and other clashes broke out along the western flask of the northern counteroffensive.
Thirty miles to the south, the North Vietnamese sent scores of heavy rocket and artillery rounds crashing into Hue and defense posts on its southern and western perimeter. However, the shellings were not followed up by any attempt to take the old imperial capital.
Associated Press correspondent Holger Jensen reported from the far north that paratroopers spearheading the five-day-old counteroffensive were in contact all day within three miles of Hanoi-held Quang Tri, capital of the province of the same name.
In Saigon, the U.S. Command announced the loss of three more U.S. Air Force Phantom jets over North Vietnam, with all six crewmen missing.
The delayed report brought to eight the number of jets downed in the North in the period June 21-27.
The command also said an OH6 observation helicopter went down Saturday eight mile's northeast of Quang Tri with one U.S. flier wounded.
The U.S. aircraft toll for the last two weeks--still incomplete--is 17, Besides the jets in the North, six fixed-wing planes and three helicopter have been reported lost in South Vietnam and Cambodia.
U.S. Command figures show 50 U.S. aircraft lost in North Vietnam and 99 in South Vietnam and Cambodia since the enemy offensive began March 30.
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