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In pictures: French and German leaders mark WWI centenary

Fred Dufour / AFP/French President Hollande and his German counterpart Gauck attend a WWI commemoration at Vieil Armand cemetery

French President François Hollande and his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, made a joint tribute to soldiers killed in the First World War as they commemorated the 100th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France on August 3, 1914.

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The French and German leaders laid the first stone for a memorial at Vieil Armand cemetery (known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf) in easten France, which contains the remains of 12,000 unidentified soldiers. Some 30,000 soldiers from both countries were killed in the battle for this mountainous region in the Vosges mountains of Alsace.

As Europe prepares to remember the start of the war, ceremonial services will be held in Belgium, France and Britain over the coming days.

The four-year conflict that became known as the Great War left some 10 million dead and 20 million injured on the battlefields. Millions more perished under occupation through disease, hunger or deportation.

In pictures: French and German presidents mark WWI anniversary
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