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The Fall of Phnom Penh, April 17, 1975

This April 17 marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975. The following are archival AP photos that documents one of the most horrific days in modern history.
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A Khmer Rouge soldier waves his pistol and orders store owners to abandon their shops in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on April 17, 1975 as the capital fell to the communist forces. A large portion of the city's population was reportedly forced to evacuate. Photo from West German television film. (AP Photo/Christoph Froehder) 
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A Khmer Rouge soldier waves his pistol and orders store owners to abandon their shops in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on April 17, 1975 as the capital fell to the communist forces. A large portion of the city's population was reportedly forced to evacuate. Photo from West German television film. (AP Photo/Christoph Froehder) 

Flag waving and jubilating Red Khmer soldiers enter the city of Phnom Penh on their trucks, April 17, 1975, when this Cambodian capital surrendered to the Khmer Rouge. Civilians pass the truck convoy on their motor scooters. (AP Photo)
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Flag waving and jubilating Red Khmer soldiers enter the city of Phnom Penh on their trucks, April 17, 1975, when this Cambodian capital surrendered to the Khmer Rouge. Civilians pass the truck convoy on their motor scooters. (AP Photo)

This aerial photograph of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is reported to show numerous personnel and civilian vehicles on the bridge and destroyed buildings at left on the day the city surrendered to the Khmer Rouge insurgents, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo) 
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This aerial photograph of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is reported to show numerous personnel and civilian vehicles on the bridge and destroyed buildings at left on the day the city surrendered to the Khmer Rouge insurgents, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo) 

The Khmer Rouge claim their forces have penetrated to the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and occupied the temple of Wat Phnom, the cities spiritual heart on Thursday, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo)
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The Khmer Rouge claim their forces have penetrated to the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and occupied the temple of Wat Phnom, the cities spiritual heart on Thursday, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo)

Children run from burning buildings set on fire by rocket attacks near Phnom Penh Airport in Cambodia, the day the city was taken by Khmer Rouge troops, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo)
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Children run from burning buildings set on fire by rocket attacks near Phnom Penh Airport in Cambodia, the day the city was taken by Khmer Rouge troops, April 17, 1975. (AP Photo)

Unidentified persons wave to each other in Poipet, on the Cambodian-Thailand border, April 18, 1975, following the announcement of the fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer Rouge forces. A Khmer Rouge radio station announced that most of the top leaders of the former Phnom Penh government had been beheaded. The radio broadcast, monitored in Bangkok, also indicated fighting is still continuing in Cambodia's provinces. (AP Photo)
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Unidentified persons wave to each other in Poipet, on the Cambodian-Thailand border, April 18, 1975, following the announcement of the fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer Rouge forces. A Khmer Rouge radio station announced that most of the top leaders of the former Phnom Penh government had been beheaded. The radio broadcast, monitored in Bangkok, also indicated fighting is still continuing in Cambodia's provinces. (AP Photo)

Cambodian Muslim men give thanks to Allah for deliverance in Aranyaprathet, Eastern Thailand on April 25, 1975, after fleeing across the border from Cambodia. Muslim refugees, members of the Cham Ethnic Minority, told newsmen about 30 of their number were killed by Khmer Rouge troops before about 400 got through on Thursday. (AP Photo/LAY)
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Cambodian Muslim men give thanks to Allah for deliverance in Aranyaprathet, Eastern Thailand on April 25, 1975, after fleeing across the border from Cambodia. Muslim refugees, members of the Cham Ethnic Minority, told newsmen about 30 of their number were killed by Khmer Rouge troops before about 400 got through on Thursday. (AP Photo/LAY)

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