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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnamese seek missing in action

Vietnamese seek missing in action

Vietnamese military experts have arrived in Cambodia to search for the remains of

fallen comrades in Kampong Chhnang province.

The five investigators began on May 6 to scout all eight districts of the province

for bones of Vietnamese soldiers, said Colonel Chhour Chandoeun, military Commander-in-Chief

of Kampong Chhnang province.

If the 10-day search discovers possible Vietnamese remains, a team of 30 soldiers

will complete the excavations, assisted by Cambodian military, police and officials,

Chandoeun said. Interviews with local residents help in finding locations; clothing

and military equipment is usually buried with the human remains, and helps identify

racial origin.

He estimated that between 100 and 300 soldiers may have died in Kampong Chhnang.

This is the first time a recovery mission has come to the province, although similar

searches throughout Cambodia have uncovered the remains of several hundred Vietnamese

soldiers, according to provincial officials.

The exact number of Vietnamese casualties in Cambodia is still debated, but in September

1989 the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency quoted a Ministry of Defense spokesperson

as saying 55,300 Vietnamese soldiers had died in Cambodia since 1978.



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