France marks Bastille Day with military parade

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The Independent Online

French forces, including contingents with troops in Afghanistan and warplanes in Libya, have celebrated Bastille Day with a military parade along the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

But President Nicolas Sarkozy, France's armed forces chief, appeared tense at Thursday's annual show of pomp, dedicated this year to forces in France's far-flung regions and those posted in foreign countries.

A French soldier was killed in Afghanistan today, one day after 5 others died there in a suicide attack. Sarkozy also just returned from a surprise visit to French troops in Afghanistan.

Sarkozy said later that he wants this Bastille Day "to be dedicated to all the soldiers killed in operations."

The holiday marks the July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille prison in Paris by angry crowds, which helped spark the French Revolution.