Ho Chi Minh mistress 'murdered by his comrades'

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A dissident Vietnamese novelist has published an explosive novel with lurid claims about Ho Chi Minh's private life.

According to Duong Thu Huong, 61, whose works are banned but widely admired in her native country, the man the Vietnamese worship as "Uncle Ho" kept a mistress 40 years his junior who was murdered by Communist Party bosses.

"His companions were terrified it would damage his saint-like image," the author claims.

She also claims that Ho Chi Minh, who died aged 79 in 1969, hastened his own death in hospital to spite his fellow leaders and "cast a curse on the corrupt regime".

Miss Huong said that the key claims in her novel, The Zenith, are factually accurate and based on 15 years of research.

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