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21 peace-keepers seized in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH (Reuter) - Khmer Rouge guerrillas have taken 21 United Nations peace-keepers hostage in Kompong Thom province, central Cambodia, where other Blue Berets were held captive earlier this month, a UN spokesman said yesterday.

One Indonesian officer and 14 paratroops, four UN military observers - from the United States, China, France and Senegal - and two Khmer interpreters were seized on Tuesday and yesterday.

Negotiations were under way for the men's release. 'We don't think they're in any kind of danger and we're confident they'll be released very shortly,' Eric Falt, spokesman for the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, said.

However, a new quick-reaction force of Indonesian soldiers, organised to respond to a recent wave of assassinations and other political violence, was placed on alert.