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France Dedicates Memorial to Muslim Troops of WWI


France's President Jacques Chirac has dedicated a memorial to the 600,000 Muslim soldiers who fought for France in World War I.

The monument was built in Verdun in northeastern France - site of a 1916 battle considered to be one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war.

Mr. Chirac said Sunday the Verdun army united the French people in all its diversity.

He said the French army at Verdun included Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, and soldiers from Madagascar and Indochina. All are former French colonies.

Some of these nations have complained that France has ignored their contributions.

Until now, Muslim soldiers were only acknowledged with a small plaque at Verdun.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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