More than 30,000 people took part in a military parade through the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on 2 September to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country gaining independence from France on that date in 1945.

The parade took place outside the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, considered to be the founding father of the country, with representatives of the armed forces, war veterans, workers and ethnic groups from across the country taking part in the ceremony.

Hanoi resident Phan Khac Nhat explained: 'It has been 70 years since we declared our independence. Vietnamese are very proud and happy about our independence, freedom and sovereignty. Even though we are a small country, we defeated many invaders, no matter how powerful they are.'

Another local resident, 62-year-old Nguyen Thi Lap, said she was happy to live in peaceful times: 'I am very happy to see our country prosper and having a powerful army to protect our nation'.

During this year's national day, Vietnam released more than 18,000 prisoners, including 34 foreign nationals as part of an amnesty.