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Armistice Day: Global Leaders Gather in Paris to Mark End of WW1


LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– World leaders are attending a ceremony in Paris commemorating the centenary of the Armistice that ended World War One.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those gathered for a service beneath the Arc de Triomphe.

President Emmanuel Macron and dignitaries marched to the arch in the rain, under black umbrellas, while church bells tolled through the city.

Many other events have been taking place around the world.

Some 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians died in World War One, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

What is happening in Paris?

About 70 world leaders have gathered in the French capital for remembrance events.

French President Emmanuel Macron is leading the main event of the centenary – a sombre commemoration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a memorial to France’s fallen under the Arc de Triomphe.

Sunday afternoon will see Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a peace conference – the Paris Peace Forum – with leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Saturday, Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel visited the town of Compiègne in northern France to sign a book of remembrance in a railway carriage identical to the one in which the 1918 Armistice was sealed.

President Trump, however, caused controversy by cancelling a trip to a cemetery for the war dead because of bad weather.

A group of around 50 activist organisations plan to hold a demonstration in Paris later on Sunday in protest against the US leader’s visit.

Which events have already taken place?

In Australia, a ceremony was held at the National War Memorial in Canberra, while in Adelaide an aircraft dropped thousands of red paper poppies.

In New Zealand, a gun salute took place in the capital, Wellington.

And in India, memorials were held for the 74,000 troops who died fighting on the other side of the world. The main European ceremony will be in Paris.

Meanwhile, in the UK, a series of special events is being held to mark the end of the 1914-18 conflict.