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Anti-War Demonstrators Protest in Massive Damascus Event - 2003-03-25

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Damascus Tuesday to protest the war in Iraq. The protesters also had words of scorn for the leaders of some Arab countries.

Damascus was the scene Tuesday of a massive anti-war protest that saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching through the streets chanting slogans of support for Iraq and condemnation for the U.S.-led invasion.

Some demonstrators burned American and British flags and carried pictures of U.S. President George W. Bush covered with red paint. And during this demonstration protesters also had words of anger for the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait. Egypt and Jordan have close relations with the United States, and Kwuait and Qatar are hosting U.S. forces.

Riot police and state security officers in Damascus set up road blocks to protect the British and U.S. embassies.

The demonstrators called on Syria to expel U.S. and British diplomats and shut down their embassies.

There is deep anger in Syria following the bombing Sunday of a bus in Iraq that was carrying Syrian laborers home. Five people were killed and more than ten were wounded in what U.S. officials called an accident.