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Images of war on the trail to Pailin

Images of war on the trail to Pailin

Post photographers Giovanni Diffidenti and Franck Nolot show the full horror

of war with these photos - and its lighter side. They were taken during an

arduous and highly dangerous five-day trek with government troops advancing into

the newly-captured Khmer Rouge base at Pailin.

Heavily-armed special

forces men stroll in Pailin, above.

A government tank reaches the landmark

temple at Pailin, left.

Fleeing KR cadre apparently defaced this picture,

below left, of what appears to be a meeting with a Thai official, right.

Franck emerges from a foxhole, below, after taking cover during a KR attack

along the trail.

Opposite: A government soldier tries to block out the pain

in Battambang Hospital, above, as he struggles to comes to terms with losing his

lower left leg in a mine explosion during the offensive, top left.

A government tank on which Franck was traveling stands crippled after running

over a mine, top left. Two soldiers died and six were injured. Franck was

unhurt.

Soldiers peruse gem catalogues at the captured KR mining village Sala Krau,

second from top left.

Sala Krau defenders inspect a KR corpse after beating

off a guerrilla attack, second from top right.

Government soldiers are now

Pailin's only occupants after KR fighters and their families fled, second from

bottom left.

Artillery opens up on Khmer Rouge positions at a government battery on the

trail, bottom left.

One wag lightens the mood during the march by sporting a

high-camp parasol, bottom right.

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