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Legendary Vietnamese General Dead at 102


Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, left, who helped direct America's War in Vietnam, shakes hands with Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, right, commander of the North Vietnamese Army in Hanoi on Nov. 9, 1995.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, left, who helped direct America's War in Vietnam, shakes hands with Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, right, commander of the North Vietnamese Army in Hanoi on Nov. 9, 1995.
Western news media report independence hero General Vo Nguyen Giap, who forced the French and later the Americans out of Vietnam, has died at the age of 102.
Giap, a communist revolutionary known for his guerrilla tactics, is one of Vietnam's most revered figures, second only to his mentor, late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.
A self-taught military strategist and the founding father of the Vietnam People's Army, Giap was an inspiration to anti-colonial forces worldwide.
He is perhaps best recognized for his 1954 victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu, which led to Vietnam's independence and the collapse of the French control of Indochina.
Giap went on to defeat the U.S.-backed South Vietnam government in 1975 in the Vietnam War.
News reports quote anonymous Vietnamese officials say Giap died Friday in a military hospital in Hanoi, where he had spent the last three years growing weaker in health.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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