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Anti-War Protests Force Some US Embassies to Remain Closed - 2003-03-22


Some U.S. embassies in the Gulf states and other parts of the Arab world were kept closed Saturday following violent anti-war protests Friday in many Arab countries.

With war raging in Iraq, U.S. embassies and diplomatic offices were closed Saturday in many Arab countries.

In Bahrain, the U.S. embassy was closed and classes at Bahrain's American school were suspended. About 200 mostly high school students, chanting death to America, clashed with police outside the embassy Saturday.

Security forces responded with tear gas. The protesters were demanding that the U.S. embassy be permanently closed and that the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet be expelled from Bahrain.

The U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia was also closed Saturday.

The American consulates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were also closed but the embassy was open in Abu Dhabi.

While the U.S. embassy in Cairo has been closed since Thursday, when the war began, embassy officials say it will be open Sunday.

Meanwhile, about 5,000 students gathered at a-Azhar University in Cairo to protest the war. Early Saturday dozens of truckloads of Egyptian security forces were seen heading for the university, Egypt's oldest Islamic institution. The protesters called for Arab states to send troops to help defend Iraqi forces.

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