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Massive security for Greek Independence Day Parade

Monday - 3/25/2013, 7:20am  ET

Police and barriers prevent the public getting close to the military parade for the Independence Day in central Athens, Monday March 25, 2013. For the second straight year, heavy police presence, for fear of disruptive incidents, has effectively closed off central Athens, not only for vehicles, but also for people who, in the past, lined up the parade route. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A military parade marking Greece's Independence Day has taken place, for a second straight year, amid a heavy police presence that barred onlookers from most of the route.

Armed forces units marched past Greece's president, ministers and other dignitaries in an otherwise empty Syntagma Square in central Athens to commemorate the Greeks' uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. In a bow to austerity, no armored units took part and no planes flew over.

Heavy security has been the norm since a military parade in October 2010 in the northern city of Thessaloniki, commemorating Greece's entry into World War II, was disrupted by anti-austerity protesters. Politicians were insulted and were forced to flee the scene.

On Sunday, only about 20 protesters turned up and were kept well away by police.

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