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Vietnam marks 'historic, golden' Dien Bien Phu victory

Published on May 7, 2014 1:06 PM
 
Dancers perform during official celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Vietnam's Dien Bien Phu victory over France at a stadium in the Northwestern town of Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 2014. War veterans, communist leaders and diplomatas gathered in Vietnam's Dien Bien Phu town to mark the 60th anniversary of the country's seminal victory over French colonial forces. -- PHOTO: AFP

DIEN BIEN PHU , Vietnam (AFP) - War veterans, communist leaders and diplomats gathered in Vietnam's Dien Bien Phu town on Wednesday for an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the country's seminal victory over French colonial forces.

The bloody, 56-day battle in this remote, northwestern valley ended on May 7, 1954, precipitating both the collapse of France's colonial empire and Vietnam's emergence as an independent nation.

"Dien Bien Phu was a victory for all the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia," as it ended French dominance in Indochina, said President Truong Tan Sang at a colourful ceremony featuring marching bands, flower-bedecked military floats and regiments of goose-stepping soldiers.

During the battle, artillery boomed across the valley and there was hand-to-hand fighting. Dien Bien Phu and its surrounding hills were filled with the rotting corpses of soldiers from both sides.

 
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