France honors veterans of 'the other D-Day,' when Allies invaded southern coast 70 years ago

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France is paying tribute to the Allied troops — including veterans from the U.S and French colonies in Africa — who landed 70 years ago on Mediterranean shores to liberate French land from Nazi occupation.

Veterans from the U.S., Britain, Canada and former French colonies in Africa are among those being honored Friday on the anniversary of the southern landings.

The invasion, involving some 450,000 troops and 881 warships, was launched 10 weeks after the D-Day landings in Normandy. The operations hastened the German defeat and the end of World War II.

French President Francois Hollande will lead a ceremony on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off the Mediterranean city of Toulon. Several African leaders will also be present as France pays special homage to the African troops.