Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Army and KR dig in for showdown outside Battambang

Army and KR dig in for showdown outside Battambang

Army and KR dig in for showdown outside Battambang

M ORE fighting is expected over the northwest village of Treng, after it fell to

the Khmer Rouge on July 4.

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) have

vowed to retake the village, but say the KR is digging in to prepare for a

counter-attack.

Between 300-350 rebel guerrillas - backed by seven tanks,

as well as mortars, artillery and anti-aircraft guns - are said to have been

involved in the July 4 attack.

RCAF troops retreated from the village,

about 45km southwest of Battambang town, after two hours of fighting.

On

July 5 the government announced a 1000-troop counter-attack against Treng, but

new RCAF front-lines set up about 4km from Treng did not last long.

By

the end of the next day, military officers said some 400 troops, three tanks and

several artillery pieces had been withdrawn from the front-lines.

The

retreat followed the firing of about 150 shells at government positions,

Battambang military deputy commander Brigadier-General Chea Ros.

A later

KR advance was repulsed by government counter-attack supported by 10 tanks and

five helicopter gunships.

Casualty figures remain unclear but Gen Ros

said eight RCAF soldiers were killed, and another 10 were missing, on July 5.

Six civilians were injured.

At the Post's press time, the situation

remained a stalemate. Gen Ros said 200 extra KR guerrillas had been sent to

Treng as reinforcements, while the RCAF was also preparing to try to retake the

village.

.

Treng - situated roughly halfway between Battambang and the

KR's de facto capital of Pailin - fell to the rebels in early May before the

RCAF recaptured it.

The KR is said to have seized about 350,000 rounds of

ammunition and 300 guns during their first capture of the village.

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