INTRODUCTION: Thailand has rushed armed police and troop reinforcements to its border with Cambodia, following the massacre of at least thirty people by Khmer Rouge force.
INTRODUCTION: Thailand has rushed armed police and troop reinforcements to its border with Cambodia, following the massacre of at least thirty people by Khmer Rouge force. Twenty-one people -- including men, women and children -- were killed in one village alone in the three-pronged attack across the troubled frontier on Saturday (January 29).
SYNOPSIS: The reinforcements were hurriedly flown in after Thailand border security forces clashed with the khmer raiders. Three villages were burnt to the ground in the attack. The Thai government says more than five hundred Cambodian troops were involved. It was the worst incident along the border since the communist Khmer Rouge government came to power nearly two years ago. Nong Do was the most severely hit target in the attack, where the 21 villagers died before Thai border forces could reach the scene. A Thai light aircraft managed to machine-gun one raiding party trying to retreat in the dense jungle. Army patrols later found Cambodian landmines planted around the area. One Thai border policeman was killed in the clashes.
A Thai border police chief later told reporters the Cambodians may have launched the attack to show their presence in the area and test the strength of the Thai opposition. They may also have been seeking food, he said, and it appeared they had pulled back across the border immediately after the attack.
Among the Khmer Rouge's victims was the pregnant woman, killed by an exploding grenade. Her three-year-old son died by her side when his throat was cut with a bayonet.
Thailand's Defence Minister, Admiral Sangad Chaloryoo, said the attack was probably a reprisal for a recent drive by Thai forces to clear Cambodian intruders from border areas.