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The Khmer Rouge guerrilla group said Wednesday its troops ambushed a large column of government troops and tanks in northern Cambodia, killing 19 soldiers as fighting flared in new areas of the country.

Khmer Rouge radio said that late last month the Vietnamese-backed government assembled a column of 1,500 troops backed by six Soviet-supplied tanks and 105mm artillery in an offensive against guerrilla-held areas of Kompong Cham province, 70 miles northeast of Phnom Penh."However, we ambushed and routed them. We killed 19 enemy soldiers and wounded 32 others. Nine were taken prisoner," the radio broadcast said.