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 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing

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tungduong_9102



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PostSubject: 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing   Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:42 pm

The 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing in Saigon was an aerial attack on February 27, 1962, by two dissident Vietnam Air Force pilots, Second Lieutenant Nguyễn Văn Cử and First Lieutenant Phạm Phú Quốc. The pilots targeted the Independence Palace, the official residence of the President of South Vietnam, with the aim of assassinating President Ngô Đình Diệm and his immediate family, who acted as his political advisors.

The pilots later stated that their assassination attempt was in response to Diệm's autocratic rule, in which he focused more on remaining in power than on confronting the Vietcong. Cử and Quốc hoped that the airstrike would expose Diệm's vulnerability and trigger a general uprising, but this failed to materialise. One bomb penetrated a room in the western wing where Diệm was reading but it failed to detonate, leading the president to claim that he had "divine protection". With the exception of Diệm's sister-in-law Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, who escaped with minor injuries, the Ngo family were unscathed; however, three palace staff died and another 30 were injured. Afterwards, Cử managed to escape to Cambodia, but Quốc was arrested and imprisoned.

In the wake of the airstrike, Diệm became hostile towards the American presence in South Vietnam. Diệm claimed that the American media was seeking to bring him down and he introduced new restrictions on press freedom and political association. The media speculated that the United States would use the incident to justify the deployment of combat troops to South Vietnam though, in the event, the US remained circumspect. Domestically, the incident was reported to have increased plotting against Diệm by his officers.[1][2][3]

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