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Indian Troops Join French Force in Bastille Day Parade

A ceremonial detachment of Indian soldiers has marched with thousands of French troops down the Champs Elysees in Paris, in the annual French military parade marking Bastille Day.

The Indian contingent marched Tuesday under the watchful eyes of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Crowds cheered and French Air Force jets flew overhead in formation.

German President Horst Koehler, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and other foreign dignitaries also attended. German troops joined the march along with the French and Indian brigades.

The annual holiday parade marks the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille prison in eastern Paris that helped spark the French revolution.

In a televised address, Mr. Sarkozy reiterated his country's commitment to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and he paid tribute to an ongoing program to modernize the French military.

The French armed forces are due to receive new intelligence gathering and protective equipment under a $525 billion modernization program awaiting a vote in the French Senate.

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