Vietnam's defense minister returns home from France amid death rumors

By Thanh Nien Staff, Thanh Nien News

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 A file photo of Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh
Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh flew back to Vietnam on Saturday, after spending a month having his lung disease treated in France.
Thanh, 66, arrived at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport at 6:55 a.m. on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Paris.
The minister, who has been in office since 2006, was seen shaking hands with many people coming to see him.
He was soon driven to his home in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.
 A car carrying Thanh home in the northern province of Vinh Phuc was seen leaving Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on July 25. Photo: Ngoc Thang
Thanh flew to France at the end of last month and had a surgical procedure to remove his lung tumor on June 30, according to the Board for Protection and Care of the Health of Central-Level Officials' previous statement.
Early this week some social network sites claimed that Thanh had died in France on July 19. His death was also reported by German news agency DPA.
However, the government quickly rejected the reports, saying that he had been recovering.
A photo of Tuoi Tre newspaper shows Minister Phung Quang Thanh (in grey suit) at the airport 

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