Vietnam claimed yesterday that it had wiped out two Cambodian battalions and severly mauled other large concentrations of Cambodians troop in fighting over the past couple of weeks.
A dispatch by Vietnam News Agency did not give a total casualty figure but it did say that 160 Cambodians were killed in two battles last week near the border.
The agency account confirmed reports that there has been a recent flare-up in the border war between the two Communist neighbors. Both sides, however, have tended to greatly exaggerate the level of fighting, which flared into steady combat about eight months ago.
In one battle reported by Vietnam yesterday, a Cambodian regiment moved in Angiang Province June 16 where it was intercepted by local armed forces.
The news agency said Vietnamese forces wiped out a Cambodian battalion in Tayninh Province and another in Bencan district.
It said the 100 Cambodian soldiers were killed in battles June and 23 in Chauthanh district.
In a released development, Vietnam yesterday scoffed at Cambodia's claim that Hanoi and the CIA have plotted several coups against the government in Phnom Penh.
"Are the Cambodian authorities crazy" asked the Communist paper Nhan Dan in an editorial broadcast by Hanoi Radio.
"The Cambodian claims are a farce. People burst out laughing at their absurdity and foolishness," the paper said.
It went on to say, however: "Cambodia has a fascist administration which has genocide as a national policy. It would in fact be no surprise if there were a popular uprising against the Cambodian government."
Travelers in Vietnam have reported that they have seen camps where former Cambodian soldiers were apparently being trained for action against the Phnom Penh government.