The 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing in Saigon was an aerial attack on February 27, 1962, by two dissident Vietnam Air Force pilots, Second Lieutenant Nguyễn Văn Cử and First Lieutenant Phạm Phú Quốc. The pilots targeted the Independence Palace, the official residence of the President of South Vietnam, with the aim of assassinating President Ngô Đình Diệm and his immediate family, who acted as his political advisors. Three palace staff died and another 30 were injured, but the Ngô family were largely unscathed. One bomb penetrated a room where Diệm was reading but it failed to detonate, leading the president to claim that he had "divine protection". Cử and Quốc later stated that their assassination attempt was made in response to Diệm's autocratic rule, in which he focused more on staying in power than on confronting the Vietcong. They hoped that the airstrike would expose Diệm's vulnerability and trigger a general uprising, but this failed to materialise. After the bombing, Cử escaped to Cambodia, but Quốc was arrested and imprisoned, and Diệm grew hostile towards the American presence in South Vietnam. Diệm claimed that the American media was seeking to bring him down and he introduced new restrictions on press freedom and political association. Domestically, the incident reportedly increased plotting against Diệm by his officers.
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