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South Vietnamese Troops Launch New Phase of War

July 19, 1962 - At least 1,000 Government troops were landed yesterday and Tuesday about 35 miles north of Saigon by U.S. and Vietnamese helicopters in a new and mostly secret phase of the war against the Viet Cong. Forty-one Air Force helicopters were used in the operation. By this evening, the forces were reported to have swept about 20 miles southeast of Tanuyen in Phuoc Thanh Province. The goals of the drive are to sweep the Viet Cong from the area and to round up farmers and villagers and place them in the country’s first two “fortified hamlets.” Unlike the strategic hamlets, created to protect those peasants who are sympathetic to the Government or uncommitted, the fortified hamlets are designed as much to keep residents inside as to hold the Viet Cong out. Many of the farmers and villagers in the area of the new drive are Viet Cong supporters or have relatives among the insurgents.

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