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Tight Security As SS Veterans March In Latvia

Latvians who fought on Nazi Germany's side against the Soviets in World War II staged their annual march in Riga on March 16 amid a heavy police presence.

Around 1,500 people -- elderly veterans and their supporters -- took part in the controversial march, moinitored by hundreds of police officers.

Opponents shouted, "Shame!" and "No to fascism," but the protests were low-key.

Veterans of the Latvian Legion say they were defending their homeland against Soviet occupation.

They have paraded in Riga every March 16 since Soviet rule ended in 1991.

Critics see the annual marches as glorifying Nazism.

Russia and many from Latvia's large Russian-speaking minority have reacted angrily to such events in the past.

This year, Latvia's government warned against participating in the march, citing security concerns and the situation in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP