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Last Updated:  Sunday, 23 March, 2003, 16:48 GMT
Thousands march for peace
Demonstrators from the Walk Against the War Coalition listen to speeches during a peace rally in Sydney
Anti-war protesters in Sydney: Australia has contributed 2,000 troops
Tens of thousands of people across the world have continued to demonstrate against the conflict in Iraq.

In the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore 50,000 protesters marched through the streets, some chanting 'God is great' while others burnt effigies of the American president.

"Stop spilling blood, no to US terrorism" and "Iraqi Muslims, we are with you," read some of the banners.

In Afghanistan, about 1,000 people demonstrated in Metalam, the capital of Lagman province.

"They wanted to speak out against the war, against the Americans," said a local official.

They wanted to speak out against the war, against the Americans
Afghan official
The BBC's correspondent in Kabul, Catherine Davis, said even if the protest was organised by those with their own agenda, it still reflects the widespread anti-war feeling in the country.

Many Afghans have been surprised and in some cases angry at the decision of their government to back the military action.

In Australia, demonstrations continued for a third day on Sunday.

Traffic was bought to a standstill in Sydney by about 30,000 people blowing whistles and banging drums.

In the capital Canberra, about 5,000 people assembled in front of the parliament to scatter flower petals in the shape of peace signs and to encourage drivers to "honk for peace".

'Who is next?'

One demonstrator told the Reuters news agency: "Who's next? Pakistan, India, North Korea? A Pandora's box could be opened, I'm just hoping I'm wrong."

Australia has deployed about 2,000 military personnel to the Gulf.

The chief cleric of India's biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, led more than 4,000 Muslims in a march through the capital.

Demonstrators protested in the Indonesia capital Jakarta outside the British, US and Australian embassies.

Indonesian student protesters burn a US flag during an anti-war demonstration outside the US Embassy in Jakarta
Indonesians protested outside the US, British and Australian embassies
Rallies also took place across the world on Saturday.

In London, protesters gathered in the city's Hyde Park for an afternoon of speeches.

In New York City, about 100,000 people marched at lunchtime from Times Square to Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park, filling 20 city blocks.

In Washington, several hundred protesters, chanting "No blood for oil," strode through the streets and rallied in front of the White House.

But pro-war rallies were also reported in some cities, like Atlanta, Chicago, and Lansing, Michigan.

Violence

Some protests turned violent. In Brussels riot police tried to prevent protesters who hurled rocks and sticks at the US embassy from getting too close to the building, later using water cannon on a small number who split from the main protest.

Protests in the Swiss capital, Bern, were tense after police used water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas against a group of hooded demonstrators, said to be from a radical faction.

In Athens, Greece, demonstrators outside the US embassy threw two Molotov cocktails onto the embassy lawn.




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