South Viet Nam: The Crackdown

Over and over, the desperate voice shouted into the telephone: "They are breaking into Xa Loi Pagoda. They are breaking into Xa Loi Pagoda." In the background, gunfire mingled with the confused screams of Buddhist monks and nuns and the clanging alarm of the huge brass gong that hangs in the bell tower of Saigon's largest pagoda. Suddenly the phone connection from the temple went dead.

It was 12:20 a.m. Using their rifle butts as clubs, squads of tough, riot-trained "special forces" smashed into the pagoda, battering a path through a small...

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