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Updated 11 hours 33 minutes ago
About 17,000 people have formed a human chain in the German city of Dresden to mark the 66th anniversary of the 1945 Allied bombing campaign that killed more than 20,000 people.
The massive two-day raid by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force began on February 13, 1945, and sparked a firestorm which destroyed much of the historical centre of the city.
Among those who perished in the flames were hundreds of refugees who had fled the horrors of the Eastern Front.
Critics say the raid was strategically unjustified as Hitler’s Germany was already effectively defeated and the bombs appeared to target civilians rather than military targets.
The anniversary commemorations began with a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery where thousands of victims are buried.
Those taking part in the human chain said they wanted to remember the victims of the bombing.
They also paid tribute to those who perished in German bombing raids.
Those attending anniversary ceremonies vastly outnumbered a march being held by neo-Nazi demonstrators, who claim the Dresden bombing was a war crime.