- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

HANOI, VIETNAM (AP) - A mass grave containing the remains of 35 communist commandos killed during the Vietnam War was found in southern Vietnam, a military official said Monday.

Meanwhile, the apparent remains of three American soldiers killed during the conflict were sent back to the United States, U.S. official Ron Ward said.

The Vietnamese soldiers were rounded up and killed by South Vietnamese forces after attacking a U.S. air base in Vinh Long province during the Tet Offensive in 1968, said Col. Vo Hieu Hoa of the provincial military command.

Authorities were tipped off about the grave by a former driver for the U.S.-backed South Vietnam government, Hoa said.

“We finally found them after three days of excavation,” he said.

Thousands of Viet Cong guerrillas attacked major towns across southern Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in January 1968. Tet is seen by many as a turning point in the war.

The remains of the U.S. troops were recovered over the past month from sites in central and southern Vietnam. They were flown aboard a military transport plane to Hawaii on Saturday for identification.

Nearly 1,800 U.S. servicemen are still unaccounted for throughout Southeast Asia since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, when communist North Vietnamese forces overran Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam.

An estimated 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese were killed in the war.

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