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President Diem Places South Vietnam in “State of Emergency”

Oct. 18, 1961 - President Ngo Dinh Diem (pictured) placed South Vietnam in a “state of emergency” today after announcing that Col. Hoang Thuy Nam, his chief liaison officer with the International Control Commission, had been murdered by Viet Cong guerrillas. Colonel Nam was kidnapped by a Viet Cong band Oct. 1 while he was driving near his farm 12 miles north of Saigon. His body, which a coroner’s report said showed evidence of torture, was discovered yesterday in the Saigon River. Physicians said he had been dead for a week. The emergency decree gives the President power to suspend constitutional processes in any matter affecting security. There is no time limit set in the decree.


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