Ieng Phan was born in 1952 in Takeo province. He was promoted through the ranks of the army up to the position of regiment commander. He was part of the attack on Phnom Penh in 1975. His division attacked the Vietnamese at the border in 1977, when the fighting was still sporadic. He recalls the Vietnamese troops entering Takeo, very far from the border. The Cambodian side experienced more casualties because the Vietnamese were better armed and larger in numbers. So they often tried to hit the Vietnamese from behind because in a head-on fight they would have lost – therefore according to the witness they were only trying to
defend their territory. Their orders from up top were to do just that.