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Chinese artillery pounds Viet positions on border

Chinese frontier artillery batteries pounded Vietnamese troop positions Monday in retaliation for what official Chinese reports called ceaseless armed provocations.

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The bombardment, launched from Chinese positions in Yunnan Province, was aimed at protecting the lives and property of the Chinese border inhabitants and their spring farming activities, the New China News Agency said.

In a dispatch dated ''Yunnan Frontline,'' the agency said the shelling began Monday morning along a 190-mile line westward from Funing, due north of Hanoi, through Malipo to Jinping.

The agency accused Vietnam of launching more than 30 armed provocations against villagers along the border in the past month.

The border region has been tense since the two countries fought a short war in 1979 after Hanoi's invasion of Cambodia.

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