Indian & French Troops Take Part 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, Voice of America reports.

Dressed in ceremonial uniforms of red and black headdress, cummerbunds and white puttees and gloves, the Indians marched from the Arc de Triomphe to the presidential stand at the end of the 1.5-kilometre (one mile) parade.

Drawn from the army, navy and the air force, the contingent paraded to the sound of Indian martial music played by a 90-member band in a ceremony shown live by all Indian television news channels.

French air force jets flew overhead, releasing trails of red, white and blue smoke to represent the colours of the French flag, and the parade came to a close with parachutists floating down on to the Place des Invalides, AFP reports.

Meawhile before the French establishment celebrated the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, there was another annual rite of revolution on a smaller scale.

Once again the early hours of France's National Celebration were marked with the burning of more than 300 vehicles and attacks that left more than a dozen police injured, Paris police said.

The BBC said many officers reported hearing difficulties after the protesters' set off explosives near police, United Press International reports.