North Vietnam's eldest cathedral has been totally destroyed as the result of U.S. bombing raids?
North Vietnam's eldest cathedral has been totally destroyed as the result of U.S. bombing raids on 24 July and 15 August, according to Hanoi.
Phat Diem Catholic cathedral, first built 1958, stood 130 kilometres (80 miles) south-east of Hanoi in Ninh Binh Province.
The whole cathedral complex comprised a total of 30 buildings, including six chapels, divinity schools, priests' residences and various utility rooms. Everything is now reduced to rubble.
There are an estimated 80,000 Roman Catholic out of the province's 570,000 population. The North Vietnam Catholic Association has reported the incident to the Pope, and called upon the Vatican to demand a halt to United States bombing immediately.
According to Hanoi, the cathedral was slightly damaged by U.S. bombs in 1968. No details of civilian casualties have been released for this raid on Phat Diem.