The Khmer Government has alleged that insurgents are using poison gas against Government forces. On?
SV Pan APC arrives at command post with casualty
TV Alleged gas victims receiving attention from comrades (2)
CU & SV Casualty on stretcher receives attention from wife (3)
SCU Another soldier being treated
SV & CU Soldiers lying in back of jeep with pads over faces (2)
CU Casualty's face patted and herbs placed in his nostril
SV Soldiers and wife carry casualty toward waiting truck
CU & SV Other casualties assisted toward truck Pan to another casualty on ground vomiting (2)
SV &CU casualties on stretchers being put on truck (2)
CU Soldier on field telephone
LV Pan Truck drives off
Initials SC/1903 SC/1927
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Background: The Khmer Government has alleged that insurgents are using poison gas against Government forces. On film are some of the alleged victims.
The allegation by the Khmer High Command followed an incident on Wednes (13 February) 12 kilometres (eight miles) north-north west of Phnom Penh. Government forces said on 82mm mortar shell landed near them and exploded in a cloud of purple and blue smoke, overcoming some of them. A jeep and on armoured personnel carrier were despatched to bring the casualties back to the command post 500 metres away.
Visnews cameraman Neil Davis, who filmed this report, says the Khmer Government has made poison gas allegations on several occasions in the past but this is the first time newsmen have seen alleged victims at first hand. There were 18 casualties and one of them, according to the local commander, died on the way to hospital.
Davis, who has filmed scores of demonstrations in which normal riot-control gas has been used, says this was not normal riot-control gas. If i had been, he points out, the troops would have recovered quickly once they had been evacuated.
But on this occasion the alleged victims did not make a quick recovery. Davis says some were seen to vomit and nearly all of them appeared to have trouble breathing. All were given first-aid treatment on the spot before being taken to hospital.
Davis has been covering the war in Indo-China for the past ten years and it is his belief that this is the first occasion in which victims of alleged poison gas have been photographed. The Geneva Agreement of 1925 outlawed the use of poison gas.