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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Muslims denounce 'US Koran abuse'
A rally in Alexandria, Egypt
One of the biggest anti-US rallies was held in Alexandria, Egypt
Thousands of people across the Muslim world have rallied against the alleged abuse of the Koran by US personnel at the Guantanamo Bay military camp.

Protesters in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Malaysia demanded the US apologise and punish those responsible.

The demonstrations came after the US military admitted some of its guards had mishandled the Muslim holy book.

But the camp commander said no credible evidence had been found that the Koran had been flushed down a toilet.

Newsweek magazine reported the toilet claim earlier this month, but later retracted it.

The Newsweek report sparked widespread protests, resulting in the deaths of at least 15 people in Afghanistan.

During Friday's rallies:

  • several thousand people chanted anti-US slogans in Egypt's capital, Cairo, and also in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, closely watched by police

  • in Lebanon, sit-in protests were held across the country with people chanting "America is the biggest Satan"

  • in Pakistan, demonstrators in Islamabad, Quetta and several other cities burned effigies of US President George W Bush

  • in Jordan, protesters in the capital, Amman, denounced US policies

  • in Malaysia, several hundred people protested outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

'Accidental'

Detainees in the US detention centre in Cuba have made various allegations that US personnel had desecrated the Koran.

A woman holding the Koran on her head at a demonstration in Beirut, Lebanon
In Lebanon, many protesters vowed to destroy White House

On Thursday, Guantanamo Bay prison commander Brigadier General Jay Hood said he had found that the Koran had been mishandled on five occasions since late 2001.

Three of the cases appeared to involve deliberate mishandling, while the other two incidents were apparently accidental, he said.

Four cases involved guards and one an interrogator.

Brig Gen Hood said those involved had not violated the rules in place at the time.




SEE ALSO:
Inquiry finds Koran 'mishandling'
27 May 05 |  Americas
FBI records detail Koran claims
26 May 05 |  Americas
Red Cross 'raised Koran concerns'
19 May 05 |  Americas
White House hits out at Newsweek
18 May 05 |  Americas
Hardliners reject Koran apology
16 May 05 |  Americas
The media's fault?
25 May 05 |  Americas


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