Finding of Bones Revives Inquiry Into Newsmen's Fate in Cambodia

From Associated Press

The discovery of human bones has caused searchers to renew their investigation into the fate of five NBC and CBS newsmen believed executed 22 years ago in Cambodia, an American official said Friday.

U.S. Defense Department specialists, who had abandoned a search for the reporters' remains, will return to Cambodia to investigate the new discovery, said Maj. John Sovocool, commander of the official U.S. POW-MIA detachment for Cambodia.

A two-week search for the remains, a cooperative effort by the two networks, the Cambodian government and the Pentagon, had concluded Thursday after searchers sifted through tons of earth.

But an NBC employee who went to the site Friday reported that human remains had been found, Sovocool said.

In all, 19 foreign journalists are still missing from the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

American correspondent Welles Hangen, French cameraman Roger Colne and Japanese soundman Yoshihiko Waku of NBC News, and Japanese cameraman Tomoharu Ishii and soundman Kojiro Sakai of CBS were captured by the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese Communists on May 31, 1970, about 35 miles south of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

The five were marched into the jungle at gunpoint and never seen again. Villagers told NBC that the journalists were executed shortly after their capture. No one had been able to search the area until recently.

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