Cambodian government claims that the Khmer Rouge has effectively been smashed must be treated with extreme caution. If only it were so easy. Second Prime Minister Hun Sen's government forces are racing against time to take a heavily mined and fortified area with one last offensive before the rainy season starts in earnest. Latest intelligence indicates that heavy fighting is under way and undoubtedly, the remnants of Khmer Rouge forces are in trouble, but that is as far as any certainty goes. 'There is heavy fighting, both incoming and outgoing,' a Thai military official on the border said last night. 'Government troops are close to the border but are meeting resistance. They don't have total control by any means.' Mr Hun Sen's commanders are past masters at claiming non-existent battlefield victories and Thai military sources and diplomats were last night warning that final victory could be still days, weeks or months away if the rains come soon. It should be remembered that despite similarly large pushes late last year his troops failed to crush the last armed resistance loyal to ousted First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh at O'Smach - an easier proposition than taking on the Khmer Rouge. The exact location of increasingly desperate and isolated Khmer Rouge strongman Ta Mok is unknown but he is thought to be surrounded by several hundred crack loyalists. Khmer Rouge radio is still broadcasting - just yesterday it denied reports that senior leaders Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea were poised to split from strongman Ta Mok and defect. It is also clear Thai military forces on the border are not exactly putting pressure on the Khmer Rouge, and they warn that the tide of refugees who have moved across the border could easily return. It is also assumed the Thai military would be extremely reluctant to take part in any international effort to bring Ta Mok to justice after years of close ties. They seem to be on a propaganda offensive themselves ahead of a rare Hun Sen official visit to Bangkok on Wednesday. Certainly, their efforts to create a new Cambodian civilian refugee camp on Thai soil would prove a useful bargaining chip to use against Mr Hun Sen.