About 430 refugee Cambodians of Vietnamese descent claimed on Wednesday (30 September) that unmarked aircraft had bombed and strafed their village in Battambang Province, North-West Cambodia.
About 430 refugee Cambodians of Vietnamese descent claimed on Wednesday (30 September) that unmarked aircraft had bombed and strafed their village in Battambang Province, North-West Cambodia. They also alleged that Cambodian soldiers then entered the village and set fire to it.
After the attack on Bak Prea (pronounced Buk Pree-ah) on September 13, the villagers fled. But, they said, the aircraft followed them, strafing them as they tried to travel south by sampan.
The trouble started on September 12 when there was a battle between Cambodian troops and Communists, on the outskirts of the village. The next day, the refugees claimed, about five T-28 propeller-driven fighter-bombers dropped bombs on their homes and twin-tailed C-119 aircraft machine-gunned them.
(The Cambodian Air Force has some unmarked T-28s but no C-119s. There are also some unmarked T-28s flying out of Thailand and Southern Laos. The Americans fly C-119s in Vietnam and they carry mini-guns mounted in banks of three on each side.)
The refugees sad there were many dead, including women and children. They claimed that an adjacent part of the village, in which ordinary Cambodians live, was not bombed.
When the fleeing refugees reached another village they were put in Cambodian Army trucks and driven away. They reached the refugee camp near Phnom Penh early this week.
While they wee describing the bombing of their village, a flight of T-28s passed over Phnom-penh. The refugees identified them as the same type of aircraft that had attacked their village.
The refugees said there had been about 8,500 people in their village. A number of rivers flow through the area and most of the people are fishermen. In the monsoon season the rivers flood and the area becomes a series of lakes. These teem with fish, making it one of the richest food-producing areas in Cambodia.