The 'forgotten' My Lai: South Korea's Vietnam War massacres
Updated 0155 GMT (0955 HKT) February 24, 2018
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(CNN)Tran Thi Duoc was 16 when the soldiers came to her village.
They wore camouflaged uniforms and helmets and carried long, black rifles. Behind them, in a neighboring hamlet to the northwest, she and other villagers could see smoke from burning houses rising into the bright, midday sky.
The soldiers, who were Asian but spoke a language the villagers could not understand, ordered them to leave their houses and gather around a well in the village's center.
Then the shooting started.
As Tran later told US military investigators, she fell to the ground and tried to play dead, but a soldier saw her and pulled her back up.
"I joined my two hands in front of my breast, knelt before him and begged for my life," she said. "But he shot at me."
The bullets broke her fingers and tore into her arms and upper body, but did not kill her. Tran passed out. When she woke up, she discovered her parents and two brothers dead, and her three-month-old sister wounded.
In total, 69 people were killed in Phong Nhi and neighboring Phong Nhat that day in February 1968, according to a US investigation that was kept secret for decades.
It was one of many alleged Vietnam War atrocities committed against defenseless civilians that would come to be overshadowed by the My Lai massacre a month later.
Unlike My Lai, which became public the year after it happened, the Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat killings remained largely unknown until the 21st century.