The Czech Republic has marked the 15th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that led to the end of decades of repressive rule in then-Czechoslovakia.

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Wednesday laid a wreath in Prague, where students and police clashed at the start of the uprising on November 17, 1989. Mr. Havel also expressed concern about growing support in the Czech Republic for the Communist Party.

The uprising led to the fall of the communist era in Czechoslovakia, and paved the way for Mr. Havel to become the nation's first democratically elected president in decades.

Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. The United States today also marked the anniversary and said the Czech Republic and Slovakia remain an inspiration for victims of political injustice and misrule around the globe.

Some parts of this report contributed by AFP and AP.