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Communists Charge U.S. With Using Poison Gas in Vietnam

Mar. 9, 1963 - Communists accused the U.S. today of using “asphyxiation gases” and “noxious chemicals” in South Vietnam, and the Soviet army newspaper charged “hundreds of people perished.” The Pentagon denied the charges, saying, “We have never used poison gas in South Vietnam, and there is no truth in Communist reports we are using it now.” The gas charge coincides with reports from military sources in Saigon that a weed killer used to destroy heavy foliage has begun to hurt Communist guerrilla tactics. Airplanes spray the chemical along roads and canals to eliminate bushes the Communists use as hiding places. The result, sources say, is fewer Communist ambush attacks. The U.S. Defense department said the chemical “is non-toxic to humans and animals when used in the prescribed manner — that is, sprayed on trees and underbrush in the open air.”


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