Traffic began to move on Saigon streets on Thursday, and some shops and offices cautiously opened their doors.
Military and police patrols were heavy throughout the city, however, and streets were crisscrossed by barbed-wire barricades and checkpoints.
We can consider they have been totally defeated." Thieu and U. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker appeared on television Friday to tell the people that the guerillas and their North Vietnamese allies were being beaten with unprecedented losses. Command reported heavy contact with the Viet Cong about daybreak Saturday in the Gia Dinh area on the northern edge of Saigon. The Viet Cong were said to be trying to escape past the South Vietnamese troops, some of them in small boats on the Saigon River.
A battalion of South Vietnamese Rangers was reported moved into Saigon to reinforce security units. It said the enemy was blocked by a South Vietnamese force on the northeast and a U. In the Chinese Cholon section of the capital, fighting broke out in front of a children's hospital.
Cholon was hit by six Viet Cong mortar shells during the night. Command said the enemy withdrew into the northern part of the old walled areas under repeated strafing and rocket raids by allied fighter-bombers. Command had reported that the enemy was holding onto two corners of the citadel.
At Hue, a main gate of the citadel was reported wrested from Communist control. Among the targets of the allied planes were anti-aircraft guns the Communists had mounted on the towers of the citadel's outer wall. The allies reported killing more than 300 enemy in bitter fighting at Hue, Friday.
During the night, one spectacular clash took place in the old French national cemetery only about 12 blocks from downtown Saigon.
President Nguyen Van Thieu declared martial law throughout the nation in the wake of the Wednesday attacks against the U. embassy and military and civilian installations from Hue to the Mekong Delta.They were trying to cover the dash of four armored trucks to evacuate wounded Americans at a boat ramp at the edge of the Perfume River. Marine companies have reportedly suffered heavy casualties. There are islands of government resistance and islands of Viet Cong strength.In addition to the senior pacification adviser, concern is also felt for nine other American civilians in the city. At least 10 Marines are known to have died, and another 108 have been wounded. The South Vietnamese battalions are fighting in the northwest portion of the city, where the old imperial Citadel is located.The allies also control the bridge across the Perfume River that joins the city. Marines fought its way to within sight of the American adviser's house three days ago, but Viet Cong soldiers were surrounding the building.The Communists burst upon Hue four days ago, and both the province chief, Lt. Phan Van Khoa, and a senior American civilian adviser for pacification may be in enemy hands, Americans at this compound believe. American and South Vietnamese planes strafed and rocketed Communist positions in the heart of Hue today.One illustration of the tremendous property damage the Communist offensive has caused was a report from President Johnson on the toll of aircraft at American fields across Vietnam.He said 16 planes and 23 helicopters were destroyed and about 100 other planes so severely damaged that they would have to be replaced. Marines and infantrymen and South Vietnamese troops are battling more to maintain their positions than to oust the enemy. 31, 1968, as Vietnamese celebrated the Lunar New Year, or Tet as it is known locally, Communist forces launched a wave of coordinated surprise attacks across South Vietnam. The campaign, one of the largest of the Vietnam War, led to intense fighting and heavy casualties in cities and towns across the South. 31, 1968 By PETER ARNETT SAIGON (AP) - The Communists have paid with nearly 5,000 dead in their frenzied guerrilla strikes at Saigon and other major centers throughout South Vietnam this week, the U. Some Viet Cong soldiers and agents were reported circulating openly in some crowded sections of Saigon, knocking on doors and telling occupants, "We have come to liberate Saigon." There were reports that the Communist National Liberation Front was claiming formation of a revolutionary council to run Saigon. casualties for the period were listed as 232 killed and 929 wounded.The campaign - one of the largest of the Vietnam War - led to intense fighting and heavy casualties in cities and towns across the South. war effort, stunning leaders in Washington and leaving Americans questioning their country's involvement in the overseas campaign. 21, 1968, written by AP journalists Peter Arnett, Edwin Q. The package includes a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by the AP's Eddie Adams. 1, 1968, file photo, South Vietnamese forces escort suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon street early in the Tet Offensive. Command spokesman said 4,959 enemy were killed in action from 6 p.m. Another 1,862 persons were seized as Viet Cong suspects. South Vietnamese government casualties were 300 killed and 747 wounded, a spokesman said.The Americans are fighting from a half-block square compound that houses U. Refugees have poured in, swelling the normal 40,000 population enormously.Civilian casualties are believed to be extremely high.