Photos: 78th anniversary of Lugou bridge (Marco Polo bridge) incident

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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows stone lions on the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo’s forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

On July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near the bridge demanded entry to nearby Wanping County on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and bridge. View photos of the bridge then and now.