Tens of thousands of Croats are taking part in a memorial march marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the eastern town of Vukovar to the Yugoslav army during the 1991-95 war.

Carrying Croatian flags and patriotic banners, the crowds on Friday were forming a kilometers-long column through the streets of the baroque town on the Danube which was all but demolished during the three-month siege in 1991.

Citizens were also lighting candles throughout Croatia.

Vukovar has become a symbol of Croatia's war for independence and of the senseless destruction during the wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia.

More than 10,000 people were killed in the Croatian war that started when the country declared independence from Yugoslavia, triggering a rebellion by minority Serbs. Croatia retook Serb-held lands in 1995.