Thailand has protested to the United Nations against what it calls Vietnamese and Kampuchean aggression in the border region between Thailand and kampuchea.
GV: Plane flying over truck with troops near Aranyaprathet Thai-Kampuchean border
GV PAN: Convoy of trucks carrying Thai troops
SV PAN: Wounded refugee on stretcher
GV PAN: Tank moving along road
SV PAN GV: Refugee camp (3 shots)
SV: Armed soldier walks through refugees
GV: Refugees (2 shots)
GV: Distressed female refugees
GV: Bodies on river bank (2 shots)
GV: Smoke in distance
GV TILT UP: Helicopter flying over trees (2 shots)
GV: Thai troop positions with Anti-aircraft gun (2 shots)
GV PAN: Thai armoured vehicle on road
GV PAN: Thai troop positions
GV PAN: Thai armoured vehicles and tanks moving along road. (2 shots)
SCU PAN: Thai tank personnel waving from bank
GV: Thai military vehicles moving along road. (2 shots)
GV: Refugees carrying possessions. (2 shots)
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Background: Thailand has protested to the United Nations against what it calls Vietnamese and Kampuchean aggression in the border region between Thailand and kampuchea. Thai officers claim that Vietnamese-led forces began a drive across the border into Thailand on Sunday (22 June). They say that more than thirty Thais have been killed, and a hundred thousand refugees displaced by the attack. The Vietnamese government however, has denied its forces crossed the border.
SYNOPSIS: Most of the action appeared to be centred on the Nonmarkmoon refugee camp, two hundred and eighty kilometres (180 miles) east of the Thai capital, Bangkok. Senior Thai military sources said that Vietnamese-led troops had originally captured three Thai villages, but had pulled back to positions within border refugee camps. Thousands of refugees abandoned the camps.
Many of the refugees were panicked by Thai F-5 fighter planes which strafed the area. Relief agencies operating in the region estimated that two hundred thousand refugees had abandoned their border camps and fled deeper into Thailand. Recently, Thai authorities have allowed refugees to return to kampuchea at a border point near Nonmarknoon.
The Vietnamese-backed Kampuchean regime strongly criticised the voluntary repatriation scheme. They claimed that non-communist Khmer Serei or Free Khmer guerrillas were being sent back into Kampuchea under the cover of voluntary repatriations. Phnom Penh had warned bangkok that it would suffer the consequences for what it said was a scheme to reinforce its enemies. Diplomatic sources said that the strike on Sunday (22 June) appeared to be the promised retaliation.
These bodies, lying more than two kilometres (one mile) inside thailand, were identified by a Reuters reporter as Vietnamese. They were left behind in the pull-back after the initial incursion.
But the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, Nguyen Co Thach Dn, speaking in jakarta, denied that any Vietnamese troops hand crossed into Thailand. He said such reports were rumours and distortions. Vietnam has an estimated two hundred troops stationed in Kampuchea.
The Phnom Penh government has blamed the fighting on anti-communist guerrillas, supported by the Thais. But the Thai government said the incursion was an unfriendly act that should be condemned.
As the Thai forces responded to the alleged incursion, there were unconfirmed reports that two Thai aircraft had been shot down. The reports said a spotter plane and a helicopter were hit by anti-aircraft fire from inside Kampuchea.
As the fighting continued, the Thai Foreign Minister, Mr. Diddhi Savetsila, said if the conflict grew worse, his government may request a United Nations Security Council meeting. The Vietnamese Foreign Minister is expected in bangkok this week to discuss Vietnam's continuing military presence in Kampuchea.
The border incidents have come at an awkward time for the Foreign Ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), who have been meeting in Kuala Lumpur. It was thought that malaysian and moving towards a compromise initiative on the Kampuchean problem.
It is now thought that any such initiative is unlikely, especially as the State Department in Washington has accused Vietnam of aggression against Thailand.