Two days of mourning for Gen. Giap begins in Vietnam

Oct. 12, 2013 at 8:38 AM

HANOI, Vietnam, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese paid their respects Saturday to the general credited with defeating both French and U.S. forces, officials say.

At his home in Hanoi, to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, to military bases across the country, the death of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was mourned, the BBC reported.

He died last week at the age of 102.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Truong Tan Sang paid their last respects to Giap at the National Funeral Hall, where his flag-draped coffin was watched over by soldiers in white uniforms.

The public thronged to the late general's home where his body lies in state.

On Friday, the flag was lowered to half-staff outside the Ho Chi Mausoleum.

The two-day ceremony ends Sunday when Giap's body will be escorted to his hometown in Quang Binh province for burial.

Giap helped Ho Chi Minh found the Viet Minh and as North Vietnam's defense minister, led the 1968 Tet offensive against U.S. troops.

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