Ta Quang Chien, the last surviving bodyguard of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese hero of independence, has died in Hanoi at the age of 98, local media reported on Monday.

According to the VnExpress portal, Chien, born in 1925 in a central province of Vietnam, died on Saturday at his home in Hanoi.

The Vietnamese began to participate at the age of 18 in revolutionary movements in French colonial Vietnam and in 1945, at just twenty years old, he was chosen to be part of the exclusive team of bodyguards of Ho Chi Minh, who in September of that same year proclaimed the Vietnamese independence.

Chien, whose birth name was Nguyen Huu Van but who was renamed by Ho Chi Minh, was part of the praetorian guard of eight faithful bodyguards of the Vietnamese hero of independence when he and his government took refuge in the mountains of the north of the country during the Indochina war against the French colonists.

He held this position for 12 years before serving in other roles in the communist administration during the North Vietnamese-South Vietnamese war and after the conflict, which ended in 1975.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), Vietnam’s most important revolutionary leader, was the first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 1951 until his death and is still revered by the majority of the Vietnamese population today.

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