Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Viets Gird for Vital Battle in Highland Area
By Denis D. Gray
KONTUM, South Vietnam (AP) — I,arge numbers of South Vietnamese and Communist troops are squared off in the Junked mountains north of Kontum over a crucial piece of real estate.
Since it is unlikely that either side will give way to the other, many observers fear a massive, head-on clash that would totally shatter the already fragile cease-fire in South Vietnam.
The contested area, about 280 miles north of Saigon, is a stretch of land less than five miles long, but it forms one of the last pieces in the North Vietnamese mosaic of supply roads and trails in Indo-China.
Supply Corridor Saigon officials say that were the North Vietnamese to seize the stretch they would control a supply corridor running from west to east through South Vietnam.
The vital link would connect a North Vietnamese-built road with Highway 5B, which runs eastward toward the coast through land over which the Saigon government has little or no control.
It would realize a long-time objective believed held by the North Vietnamese: South Vietnam would in effect be bisected and supplies and men could flow from the North to the South Vietnamese coast. The strategic framework for any future offensive could be solidly laid.
The Sooth Vietnamese, folly aware of this danger, are moving decisively to block any fnrther road bnilding by their enemy.
Both sides in the area have already shown their tenacity. Last week, about 350 North Vietnamese were reported killed, one South Vietnamese battalion of 400 men was nearly decimated and another badly mauled in some of the bloodiest fighting since the cease-fire.
Government reinforcements are now maneuvering into position along Highway 5B to stop further road construction. South Vietnamese aircraft almost daily bomb and rocket Communist traffic and troops on and along the highway.
Bantam Balld-l p Each side has about 30,000 ground troops in the central highlands with the strongest North Vietnamese build-up being around Kontum, according to Saigon estimates. There have also been reports of North Vietnamese reinforcements being readied in nearby Laos for action around Kontum and Pleiku.
Most observers do not see this current central highlands scenario as a prelude to a large-scale North Vietnamese offensive along the lines of 1968 and 1972. But they fear that limited incursions of one side may become so unacceptable to the other that both will be sucked into a massive confrontation.
The potential for sack escalation exists around this central highlands city.
At stake is even more than an east-west swath through South Vietnam. Completion of the last five miles of road would also give the North Vietnamese better access to trails running south toward the city of Pleiku and to vital Highway 19 to the
Already controlling much of ie land to the west of Pleiku rid Kontum, the North Viet-imese would be in a position to irtually strangle the two cities i event of a full outbreak of etilities. This the South ietnamese would certainly nd unacceptable and the as-imption is that they would rike back hard.
Cites Decrease In Tuberculosis
ATLANTA (AP) — Tuberculosis in the U. S. last year declined from 1972, the national Center for Disease Control has reported.
The CDG said information from state health departments indic ates that there were 31,015 new cases of active tuberculosis reported in 1973, a rate of 14.8 percent per 100.000 population. The* total represented a decline of 5.7 percent per 100,000 from 1972. the report said.
Case rates for states ranged from a high of 35 9 per 100,000 population in Hawaii to a low of 4.2 in Nebraska, the CDG said.
•RETORLA, South Africa i*) — Elias Shosane, 2ti, uas ashed with a $30 fine or 20 'n in Jail for drunken bicycle, tng
Th acres of nverything for the homo
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Other months may end normally, but our March always goes out like a lion, lf we don t clear our stocks, our bookkeepers ROAR ! Al! through the store, prices are marked way down on home furnishings to delight your Spring "fresh-en-up-the-home heart. You ll find hundreds of deluxe sofas, practical bed davenports, comfy chairs, fun-to-eat-on dinettes, beautiful bedrooms, colorful carpets, tasteful TV sets, work saving appliances, and many more. And you’ll recognize their famous manufacturers, such as Kroehler, Bassett, Lane, Drexel, Thomasville, Simmons, Sealy, Howell, RCA, Amana and others.
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The Cedar Rapids Gazette Wed , Mar. .7, 1974 ii A
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One of the largest selections of sofas in Iowa now on sale. Endless designs, patterns and fabrics to choose from.
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Dozens of different pieces: desks, chests, cabinets, bookcases, stools, deacon benches, and you can choose contemporary or colonial styles.
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