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Cambodian People's National Liberation Armed Forces

As the Armed Forces of Democratic Kampuchea, the 68,000-member Khmer Rouge-dominated CPNLAF (Cambodian People's National Liberation Armed Forces) force that completed its conquest of Cambodia in April 1975 was renamed the RAK (Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea). This name was dating back to the peasant uprising that broke out in the Samlot district of Batdambang Province in 1967.

Under its long-time commander and then Minister of Defense Son Sen, the RAK had 230 battalions in 35 to 40 regiments and in 12 to 14 brigades. The command structure in units was based on three-person committees in which the political commissar ranked higher than the military commander and his deputy.

Cambodia was divided into zones and special sectors by the RAK, the boundaries of which changed slightly over the years. Within these areas, the RAK's first task upon "liberation," as a calculated policy, was the peremptory execution of former FANK officers and of their families, without trial or fanfare.


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