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16 Mar, 2008 11:10

Nazi units glorified in Latvian capital

About 3,000 people have marched through Latvia's capital Riga to commemorate the Latvian Waffen SS units that fought on the Nazi side during World War Two. Several hundred, mostly Russian speaking, anti-fascists gathered to protest against the rally.

A 2000 strong police force was there to prevent clashes.

During World War Latvians formed two SS divisions and on March 16, 1944, both of them fought against the Soviet army for the first time.

It was proclaimed an official national remembrance day in 1998 – a move strongly condemned by Russia and other countries as a glorification of Nazism.

In 2000, it was abolished as an official commemoration day but it is still marked unofficially.