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The Thai army has been forced to deploy psychological specialists to calm fears of border villagers that their camps are not safe from enemy fire.
A tent city in Kantharalak town set up for border villagers who have fled the recent fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops. JETJARAS NA RANONG
Rumours panic camp residents
Second Army commander Thawatchai Samutsakhon cooks a meal for villagers taking refuge from the border clashes at a shelter in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket yesterday. JETJARAS NA RANONG
Ian Maowan, 59, a resident of a border village in Si Sa Ket province, is one of 21,720 people who have fled the recent fighting to stay in 37 makeshift camps in Kantharalak town.
She doesn't want to stay any longer.
Like many other camp residents, she has been panicked by rumours that they would be the target of Cambodian attacks in retaliation for unconfirmed reports that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's son, Brig Gen Hun Manet, was injured during the armed clash on Sunday.
She said the firing of artillery shells across the border at the weekend had frightened her.
"We still live in fear as we don't know when Cambodian soldiers will attack the camp with artillery shells.
"We are so scared."
Noodaeng Saensuk, a resident of Pratai village, has similar fears but she also has other concerns.
"Although I am fully fed here, I want to return home," Ms Noodaeng said.
"I want the situation to return to normal soon so I can make a living.
"In my village, I earn 200 baht a day as a hired hand.
"I have no income staying at the camp. How can my family live?"
The fears in the camp are strong enough for the army to deploy special warfare troops to carry out psychological operations to calm the camp residents.
Thannakarn Nitisajjawat, commander of the special warfare company, said there were many rumours causing panic among residents.
"We have to tell them that artillery rounds cannot reach the camps as mountains and forests block the line of fire.
"The camps are guarded by Thai troops and it's impossible for Cambodian troops to attack our camps."
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Wassana Nanuam.
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
psychological – connected with a person's mind and the way in which it works ทางด้านจิตใจ, ทางจิตวิทยา
fled (past of flee) – escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there หนีไป
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
rumour – a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true ข่าวลือ
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
resident – a person who lives in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
commander – the head of an army or army unit ผู้บังคับบัญชา
take refuge – to go to a place which provides protection or shelter from danger or trouble ลี้ภัย
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay ที่หลบภัย ที่พักชั่วคราว
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
target –a person, business, building, area, etc., that someone intends to attack เป้าหมาย
retaliation – doing something harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have done something harmful or unpleasant to you การตอบโต้,การแก้แค้น
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
armed – using weapons ติดอาวุธ
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
artillery – large powerful guns that are used by an army and are moved on wheels or fixed in one place ปืนใหญ่
shell – a weapon consisting of a metal container filled with a substance that explodes, fired from a large gun กระสุนปืนใหญ่
fear – the bad feeling that you have when you are in danger, when something bad might happen, or when a particular thing frightens you ความกลัว
scared – frightened, or worried ตระหนก, ตกใจ, หวาด, ผวา
concern – a worry ความกังวล
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place สถานการณ์
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
hired hand – someone who is paid to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
income – money that someone gets from working or from investing money รายได้
deploy (of soldiers, police, etc.) to put in place ready for action ส่งทหารตำรวจเข้าประจำการ
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
calm – to cause to be relaxed and without anxiety ทำให้ใจเย็น,ทำให้ไม่กังวล, ทำให้สงบ
round – a bullet or a shot that is fired from a weapon นัด(กระสุน) ชุดยิง
block – to stop someone or something from moving through or along something else ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
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