1966, December, “Civilian Casualties”


US Strategy. Westmorland’s Dec/66 B’gdu.



Total civilian casualites in the Republic of Vietnam since 1957 include an estimated 11,000 assassinations and about 40,000 kidnappings.

During the third quarter 1966 (July-September), VC terrorist activity resulted in deaths of 41 civilian officials and 534 other civilians were kidnapped by VC. During the following month (October), VC assassinated 27 civilian officials and 162 other civilians. Also during October, VC kidnapped 21 civilian officials and 428 other civilians. October figured well over half of the entire previous quarter and thus indicates that VC terrorism against civilian is being maintenedta-ined at a v high level.

November and December figures are not yet complete; however, the following acts of VC terrorism stand out:

During the week of November 20-December 627, VC terrorist action killed 47 civilians, including several local officials, and wounded 42 civilians, including 5 policemen. During the same week the VC abducted 246 civilians, including 7 local officials.

During the week of November 27-December 3, two main VC terrorist actions were reported: Mining of a civilian bus in which three civilians were wounded and an attack on a bridge, in which two civilians were wounded and one child was killed.



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During the week of December 4-10, VC terrorist action resulted in 36 civilian deaths, including three civilian officials. During the same period VC abducted 27 civilians, including three oficials. During

During the week of December 17, VC terrorism resulted in 33 civilian deaths, includiing four government officials. During the same week, 52 civilians were wounded.

During the week ending December 24, 34 civilians were killed by the VC, including two hamlet chiefs, two national policemen, one “Hoi Cahn” (open arms) returnee and one revolutionary development cadre. Sixty-three civilians were wounded and 97 abducted during the same week.

These figures indicate no abatement whatsoever in VC terrorism against civilian population. The fololowing individual incidents which took place during November and early December also provide graphic eveidence of continued wide-spread use of terrorism against the civilian population by VC:

November 5 – VC overran South Vietnamese outpost four miles southeast of Cao Tho in the Delta. In addition to several Vietnamesex military personel being wounded, 12 civilians and one local policeman were killed and nine were wounded.

November 6 – VC force entered a village, 80 miles south of Saigon and kidnapped the entire population of 107.

November 10 – VC forces attacked a regional forces dependent housing area, 100 miles southwest of Saigon, killing 11 civilians and wounding 32. In VC attacks against two other outposts on the same day,


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23 civilians were killed, six wounded and one reported as missing .

November 24 – VC ambush of US vehicules resulted in eight civilians being killed (1 US, 7 third country nationals). On the same day VC forces burned 15 houses and kidnapped 109 civilians of a vilage, 70 miles southwest of Saigon.

Most dramatic VC act of terror in December was assassination of prominent political figure and member of Constituent Assembly, Tran van Van on December 7. Others were:

December 3 – A security agent was shot in Phu Lam area of District 6 (Saigon)

December 4 – Two information cadre were kidnapped in District 6 (Sa igon).

December 12 – A hand grenade was thrown at a police patrol jeep oin District 5 (Saigon).

Striking feature of VC terror tactics has been cold blooded manner in which attacks have been carried out against civilians going about their innocent pursiuits. Of course, there are occasions when US military personel or installations are clearly the target, such as the bombing of the Kinh Do Theater on December 4, when 11 US military personel were wounded. But even in such instances the VC have shown an utter disregard for the safety of Vietnamese civilians, who, on many occasions, turned out to be the chief victims of the attacks.


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