Grave found with remains of 30 communist soldiers killed during Vietnam War's Tet Offensive

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A mass grave has been found containing the remains of 30 communist soldiers believed to have been killed during the Tet Offensive, seen by many as the turning point to the Vietnam War.

Authorities had searched unsuccessfully for the grave in Quang Tri province in central Vietnam for three years based on information provided by American veterans who said some 158 soldiers may be buried there, said Maj. Col. Tran Trong Trung of the provincial military command.

A villager digging holes to plant rubber trees found the mass grave recently and reported it, Trung said. Excavators still are looking for more remains. None have been identified, but the site includes personal effects such as watches, belts and raincoats.

The soldiers were believed to have been killed while attacking an American base during the Tet Offensive, Trung said.

Thousands of Viet Cong guerrillas attacked major towns across southern Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in January 1968. Quang Tri was the front line, and fierce fighting took place there.

The war ended in 1975 when communist North Vietnamese forces overran Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam, now known as Ho Chi Minh City. About 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese were killed in the conflict.