HANOI (AFP) – General Le Duc Anh, a Communist party hardliner and former Vietnamese president who led the liberation of Cambodia which led to the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, has died aged 99.
Duc Anh, who was born in 1920, spent much of his life in southern Vietnam, where he joined the communist war effort against the French and then the United States.
Duc Anh passed away late Monday “following a long illness,” the government and state media announced. He served as president between 1992-1997.
He was one of the “liberators of Saigon” as deputy commander of the offensive that toppled the US-backed South Vietnamese government.
He is best remembered for playing a commanding role in the liberation of Cambodia that drove Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge out of Phnom Penh in 1978, earning him the nickname “Tiger of Cambodia”.
A state funeral is expected to be held for him.