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Phoumi Nosavan, Former Laotian Military Leader

November 07, 1985|From Reuters

BANGKOK — Former Laotian military strongman Phoumi Nosavan, 66, died of a cerebral hemorrhage here Sunday, more than 20 years after he was exiled to Thailand, family members said.

Phoumi headed U.S.-backed anti-Communist military forces and was a rightist deputy premier in several government coalitions between 1960 and 1965.

He tried unsuccessfully in 1965 to seize power but had to swim across the Mekong River to Thailand when forces loyal to Prince Souvanna Phouma foiled his coup.

He was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for rebellion and embezzlement of state funds and never returned to Laos.

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