Bangkok — Vietnamese troops reopened their dry-season offensive along Kampuchea's border with Thailand. Their target was Phnom Chat, a major base of Khmer Rouge Kampucheans. Thailand's National Security Council chief, Squadron Leader Prasong Soonsiri, said 15,000 refugees fled to Thailand to escape the fighting. The attack by about 6,000 newly reinforced Vietnamese troops took place over a three-mile stretch of the border area about 190 miles east of Bangkok. The troops were backed by Soviet-built T-54 tanks and American-built armored personnel carriers and artillery, Thai military officials said.
International aid officials working among the estimated 100,000 displaced Cambodians living in camps close to the latest fighting were evacuated from the area. The security council chief said the Vietnamese assault had been expected for several weeks. But it had apparently been delayed until the completion of two events: a meeting of foreign ministers from the European Community and noncommunist Southeast Asian countries in Bangkok and an official visit to Hanoi by Claude Cheysson, the French external relations minister.