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Vietnam's independence hero General Vo Nguyen Giap, whose guerrilla tactics defeated both the French and American armies, died Friday at the age of 102, a government source said.
"I can confirm that General Giap died at 6:08 pm (1108 GMT) today," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. A military source confirmed the time of death.
Giap, second only to late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh as modern Vietnam's most revered figure, was a self-taught soldier and the founding father of the Vietnam People's Army, whose guerrilla tactics inspired anti-colonial fighters worldwide.
Vietnamese Internet users immediately begun paying tribute to the hugely popular general.
"Rest In Peace the hero of the people. You will always be our greatest general," one wrote, in a posting typical of the outpouring of grief which errupted online as news of his death emerged.