The Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF), faced with an imminent attack by Vietnamese forces, was strengthening defensive positions in the Thai-Kampuchean frontier town of Ampil on November 23.
1. GV PULL BACK Flag, troops, officer speaking in French 0.05
2. SV/GVs Soldiers with machine gun, others on guard with automatic weapons and anti-aircraft gun (5 shots) 0.33
3. CU Compass on map PULL OUT TO SV officers discussing tactics in French 0.46
4. GV People and soldier walking along road, man in military garb (2 shots) 1.09
5. GV Two militiamen with kepis, trenches in background 1.15
6. GV/SV Women digging trenches (2 shots) 1.32
7. GVs sign of welcome to Ampil town along roadway (2 shots) 1.38
8. SV/GV Underground in front of huts (2 shots) 1.45
9. GV Villagers' belongings in cart (2 shots) 1.56
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Background: AMPIL, KAMPUCHEA
The Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF), faced with an imminent attack by Vietnamese forces, was strengthening defensive positions in the Thai-Kampuchean frontier town of Ampil on November 23. KPNLF troops, equipped with automatic weapons and anti-aircraft guns, were placed on alert in readiness for a Vietnamese strike which observers indicated could become one of the bloodiest offensiveness since Vietnam invaded Kampuchea nearly six years ago. Local women were called in to dig protective trenches around Ampil, and a network of underground bunkers was dug in preparation against possible air raids. Villagers have also been gathering their belongings in order to move across the border into neighbouring Thailand, should the anticipated fighting overwhelm the town. vietnamese forward positions were spotted only one and a half kilometres (one mile) away from KPNLF base camps. A recent battle between KPNLF and Vietnamese units for the town of Nong Chan produced heavy Vietnamese casualties, reinforcing the view of Western observers that Vietnamese military commanders have under-estimated both the tenacity and the numbers of KPNLF guerrillas.
Source: REUTERS - GARY BURNS