Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Troops to march on city streets

Anglian regiment in Boston
Parades for returning soldiers have become more common in recent years

Soldiers are to parade in Leicester, with tanks, for the first time since World War II.

Some 150 troops from the 9th and 12th Royal Lancers will go to Town Hall Square on Monday following their return from Iraq.

The group Help for Heroes, which supports wounded servicemen, said it was an opportunity to thank the unit.

On Tuesday a parade by 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was heckled by anti-war protestors in Luton.

The Lancers have completed two tours in Iraq in the past two years.

Protest fears

Bryn Parry's, co-founder of Help for Heroes, said: "They would be the first to say they are not heroes, they are just ordinary men and women doing their job.

"I think it is us, the civilians, who say that anyone who volunteers to serve their country, knowing they may have to go and risk their lives or serious injury that will affect them for the rest of their lives, are heroes."

He added: "It is a privilege of living in a democracy that you are allowed to protest but I think those yesterday were in a very small minority and did not represent any community."

The Leicester-based chairman of the Muslim Forum, Manzoor Moghal, said a repeat of the protest at Luton's military parade could have a serious impact on community relations.

He said: "Islam, which is already under severe scrutiny and attack for different reasons, will fall further down the same route where we are antagonising people without being sensitive to the reality on the ground."

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