Vietnam's Gen Giap to be buried in his hometown this weekend

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General Vo Nguyen Giap speaks during an interview in Hanoi, March 30, 2004. PHOTO: REUTERS

Legendary military strategist General Vo Nguyen Giap, who died October 4 at the age of 102, will be buried near his childhood home in the north-central province of Quang Binh this Sunday (October 13).

He will be buried in the Vung Chua-Dao Yen area in Quang Dong Commune in accordance with his and his family's wishes.

A two-day national mourning period will begin at noon Friday and end at noon Sunday.

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His body will lie at the national funeral house in Tran Thanh Tong Street in Hanoi, and mourners can pay their last respects to him Saturday.

The respect-paying period from 7:30 a.m. to noon will be for current high-ranking government and Party officials and former leaders, foreign leaders and diplomatic delegations. Participants will also include delegations from the Vietnam Veterans' Association, the ministries of defense and public security, Hanoi authorities, and Giap's relatives, the funeral committee announced Wednesday.

From noon to 3 p.m. will be for other ministries and government agencies and authorities from other cities and provinces, and from that time until 9 p.m., the funeral home will be open to the public.

Simultaneously, individuals and organizations can pay their respects to Giap at the Quang Binh people's committee office and at Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City.

Memorial services will be held simultaneously at all three locations at 7 a.m. Sunday, before his body is carried to Noi Bai Airport for the flight to Quang Binh.

National flags will be flown at half-mast and all entertainment activities will be halted during the two days.

A bereavement ceremony has been held at his house on Hanoi's Hoang Dieu Street for people to pay their tributes to him. The event started last Sunday and endsThursday.

Giap, aka Van, was born in Quang Binh's Loc Thuy Commune. He was commander in many battles during Vietnamese revolutionary wars against the French and American armies.

He was the commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Army, a journalist, a history teacher and a politician. He also held many important positions in the Vietnamese government, including as defense minister and deputy prime minister.

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