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India Celebrates 63rd Republic Day

Indian paramilitary soldiers march in Republic Day parade, New Delhi, Jan. 26, 2012.

India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day Thursday with a parade showcasing its military and air power, and its rich and diverse cultural heritage.

In New Delhi, India displayed missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, while fighter jets, long-range aircraft and helicopters flew overhead.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and military officials laid wreaths at a memorial for those who gave their lives to defend the nation.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in the country on an official visit, was the guest of honor.

Some 25,000 security personnel guarded the Indian capital against possible attacks from militant groups. Security was also stepped up in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

India's Republic Day commemorates the adoption of a democratic constitution on January 26, 1950.

In Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, hundreds of people gathered Thursday to protest India's policies in the region.

The protesters marched through the streets of Muzaffarabad, chanting and shouting slogans against India.

The march was organized by the banned group Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

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