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Iranians join Bush shoe protest

By Martin Vennard
BBC News

Shoe rally in Tehran
The protesters threw shoes at caricatures of Mr Bush

Dozens of Iranians in the country's capital Tehran have held their own shoe-throwing rally in protest at US President George W Bush.

They were showing support for the Iraqi journalist who threw his footwear at the American leader in Baghdad.

The protesters waved their shoes in the air before throwing them at posters featuring caricatures of Mr Bush.

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zaidi, is due to go on trial in Iraq, accused of assaulting a foreign head of state.

'Cruelty'

The demonstration took place near Tehran university as people headed to Friday prayers.

One demonstrator, who called himself Mr Ghanati, said he was a member of the Islamic guards and that the Iraqi journalist had seen off the "traitor" Mr Bush with his action.

"Bush has committed a lot of cruelty against the people of Iraq and other countries," he said.

A similar demonstration took place at a university in Iran's Isfahan province on Thursday and there have been other such protests across the region.

Iraqis have called for the release of the journalist.

Muntadar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush as the president was giving a news conference during a visit to Baghdad this month.

Since then a Turkish firm, which claims it made the shoes, says it has had to take on 100 extra staff to cope with the surge in orders.

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