SITUATION IN SOUTH VIETNAM
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THE SITUATION IN SOUTH VIETNAM (Information as0 EST)
is celebrating the success ofwith some retaliatory outbreaks againstclose to the Diem regime. Organizedhas ended, and there are conflictingof the fate of Diem and Nhu after theirsurrender at Gia Long palace just before
aigonovember in Washington.)
Diem telephoned General Don at the Joint General Staffccordingeliable source at JGS, and offered to surrender "witheneral "Big" Mlnh accepted, and was trying toa ceasefire. Coup forces were even thento have entered Gia Long. Half an hour later, according to the source. Diem again called Don to surrendernd added that he had given the ceasefire order.
The coup generals had planned to bring Diem and Nhu to JGS headquarters and offer to fly them to the country of their choice. Saigon Radio announcedowever, that Diem and Nhu had committed suicide while being taken to JGS. One source reported Vietnamese photographers had taken pictures of the bodies at JGS headquarters. Other rumors contend that they have escaped and are in hiding.
We have still detected nothanthe Communists. Hanoi has labeled theS move to substitute "onefor another."
The General's Council hasix-point program for the new regime: to fight thepermit free function of political parties, release all non-Communist political prisoners, grant freedom of religion,ree press, anddiplomatic relations with neighboring countriesambodia.) For the time being, however, martial law continues with censorship and curfews.
still appears that the genorals willable to create an all-civilian government asas they had hoped. Vice President Tho is to head
a new cabinet as Prime Minister, but at least four of the key posts will be filled by military officers. Pledges of support are coming in froa Vietnamese including the Republicanass organization which was one of Shu's vehicles. One of the principal labor leaders visited an American friend in jubilant mood.
A roundup is under way seeking some police officers and other officials of tho former regime still at large. Early Saturday morning small arms fire was still heard occasionally, but some of this could be ammunition exploding In fires at tbe palace.
Troops are in only loose control over the celebrating population of Saigon, The headquarters, of Madame Nhu's Women's Solidarity Movement and homes of several former government members have been burned. The police station at the central market and the offices of two pro-Diem newspapers,the Tines of Vietnam, have been sacked. The statue of the Trung Sisters, Madame Nhu's favorite symbol, bas been pulled down.
There have been no reports of US casualties. There appear to have been upotalasualties among coup troops and thoso defending Diem in the palace.
rs (C)Original document.