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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Special police unit fighting KR in Battambang

Special police unit fighting KR in Battambang

P OLICE officers have been called in to help Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)

troops to try to thwart continuing Khmer Rouge attacks around Battambang

province.

More than 1000 policemen, along with 300 RCAF soldiers, have

formed a special unit to KR attacks around the province.

Battambang

police commander general Van Chhunly, who is leading the operation, said five

helicopter gunships were being used by the unit.

He described their work

as "mopping up" pockets of rebel forces and said it would continue "until they

have disappeared". It was the first time that policemen had been used in such a

way in Battambang.

Gen Chhunly said the unit had launched several

offensives against KR guerrillas, including one at a temporary rebel base Kam

Rieng in Sangke district About 150 guerillas believed to be at the base retained

control of it during the fighting.

Two days later, his unit attacked KR

groups in Mong Rossei district, 45km southeast of Battambang town.

The

general said KR hit-and-run attacks on villages and communes in remote areas of

the province-particularly the Sangke, Banan, Ek Phnom, Mong Rossei, Bavel,

Rattanak Mondul and Battambang districts-continued early this month.

On

Feb 13, two children were killed when KR attacked three villages in Kampong

Preang commune, about 30km east of Battambang town. Eight houses and a school

were razed by the KR, he said.

Six days earlier, Prey Svay and Kdol Tahen

villages in Bavel district came under attack, along with a local camp of

internally-displaced people.

Two civilians died in the raid and 11

guerrillas were later killed by an RCAF counter-attack.

On Feb 10, two

villages in Battambang district were flattened by rebels after they looted

property.

One Feb 12, Khmer Rouge guerrillas attack Rossei Krang commune,

about 65 km south from Battambang town burning down 16 houses, a four room

primary school and a six room high school.

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