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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 17:55 GMT
Huge anti-war march in Iran
Iranians burn UK flag
Protesters turned their anger against Britain
Tens of thousands of people have marched through the Iranian capital, Tehran, in protest at the United States-led war in Iraq.

Some protesters also threw stones at the British embassy in Tehran, smashing windows.

But the state-organised march was not in support of Saddam Hussein. Protesters chanted "Death to Saddam" as they shouted "Death to America".

There have also been large protests in cities around the world, South Asia in particular, following Muslim Friday prayers.

Next target?

Correspondents say that, until now, anti-war sentiment in Iran has been muted.

Iran and Iraq fought an eight-year war in the 1980s, during which chemical weapons were used against Iranian troops.

Tehran protest
Until now, anti-war sentiment has been muted in Iran

But Iran was part of US President George Bush's "axis of evil", alongside Iraq and North Korea.

"I'm afraid of America because it is possible that we will be next after Iraq," said Roya Shasian, 40, one of the marchers in Tehran.

Some demonstrators burnt US and Israeli flags and set fire to an effigy of President Bush.

Reuters news agency reports that crowds cheered every time a window at the British embassy was hit by a stone.

Tear gas

In India, some 20,000 Indian Muslims protested against the war in New Delhi and elsewhere.

At the same time, thousands of communists held a separate march.

ANTI-WAR PROTESTS
Tehran protest

"We want the US-led coalition forces to immediately withdraw from Iraq. The Indian government should also condemn the war and strongly take up the issue with the United Nations," said Swadesh Bhattacharya, member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) politburo.

Following Friday Muslim prayers in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, several thousand people held an anti-war march.

They condemned the war as "inhuman, mindless and barbaric" after saying special prayers seeking blessings for Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people.

In Sri Lanka, police fired tear gas to disperse Muslim protesters before they reached the UK and US embassies in the capital, Colombo.

Protesters in Islamabad released doves while Pakistan's parliament debated an anti-war resolution.

Some lawmakers from the ruling party briefly left parliament to join the protests.

Elsewhere:

  • In South Korea, anti-war demonstrators scuffled with riot police as the national assembly postponed a vote on sending non-combat military personnel to the Gulf;
  • The Indonesian Government said it would lobby for the United Nations to condemn the war, while thousands of Indonesians marched against the war;
  • Some 1,000 protesters clashed with Jordanian riot police who prevented them from reaching the Israeli embassy;
  • Christian and Muslim clerics marched through the financial district of the Philippines capital, Manila;
  • In Italy, protesters blocked an oil refinery and attacked a car showroom;
  • In Iraq, a Muslim preacher used Friday prayers to call for all Muslims and Arabs around the world to embark on a "jihad" or holy war against President George Bush.



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