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Bastille Day parade shows military tech in air and on ground, though marred by protests (FULL VIDEO)

Bastille Day military parade at the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. © AFP / Lionel Bonaventure / Free

France showcased its military might with an impressive Bastille Day parade along the Champs Elysees in the heart of Paris. But Yellow Vest protesters used the event to once again demonstrate their anger.

Around 4,300 soldiers, 200 vehicles and 100 aircraft took part in the annual parade, attended by thousands of people, including guests of honor German chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the leaders of the Netherlands and Portugal.

© Reuters / Philippe Wojazer / Free

The armor on display featured the country’s main Leclerc battle tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers, while the aerial part of the parade saw Airbus A330 Phoenix refueling plane taking the to the skies in the company of French Mirage 2000-5 and Rafale jets.The troops showed off their skills in simulated combat, also demonstrating the work of bomb-dismantling robots. But the show-stealer was the sight of a man rocketing through the air on a jet-powered flyboard, invented by French former jet-skiing champion Franky Zapata.

However, the Yellow Vest demonstrators, who have been protesting declining living standards in France for eight months now, were also among the spectators. They booed French president Emmanuel Macron as he was being driven in an open-top limo towards the Place de la Concorde, and also clashed with police who tried to remove them.

July 14 marks the storming of the infamous Bastille prison in Paris in 1789, which became a key event of the French Revolution and was later declared a national holiday.

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