Mon, June 27, 2011
World > Africa

Azerbaijan holds big military parade to celebrate Armed Forces Day

2011-06-27 07:05:32 GMT2011-06-27 15:05:32(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Soldiers take part in a military parade in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2011. Azerbaijan held the biggest military parade in the history of the country on Sunday to celebrate its Armed Forces Day. (Xinhua Photo)

Soldiers take part in a military parade in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev inspects a military parade in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

Soldiers take part in a military parade to celebrate Azerbaijani Armed Forces Day in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

Warplanes are seen in a military parade in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)

BAKU, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Azerbaijan held a biggest military parade in the history of the country on Sunday to celebrate its Armed Forces Day.

About 6,000 soldiers and 400 vehicles attended the parade, which was held at Freedom Square in the center of capital Baku.

Different regiments of the Azerbaijani Army marched past in all their finery and official decorations. This was followed by infantry combat vehicles, Russia-made S-300 self-propelled anti- aircraft missile launchers, automatic mortars, anti-tank guns and howitzers.

The parade culminated with a grand fly-past, which featured several unmanned aerial devices, 35 military helicopters, 22 fighter jets and bombers.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a speech in the parade, highlighting the country's military potential.

"The Azerbaijani government has been doing everything to strengthen the country's military potential,"the president said. "Our military spending has been growing every year. In 2011 our military budget made 3.3 billion dollars."

The parade is the third one since Azerbaijan regained its independence in the beginning of 1990's. The first two were held in 1992 and 2008.

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