Amid one of France’s heaviest security operations, President Jacques Chirac has been reviewing troops for the traditional Bastille Day celebrations.
At the start of the colourful military parade, he stood in an open jeep which moved down the Champs Elysees in central Paris. Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended the ceremony along with two battalions from the Brazilian army which is this year’s guest star.
Security for the event has been a top priority since a man tried to assassinate Chirac during the parade three years ago. Following the London bombings, spectators were urged to be constantly vigilant. Some 5,000 police officers were on patrol with dozens of snipers deployed along rooftops.