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Monday March 31, 01:52 AM

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Moroccans back suicide attacks

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RABAT (Reuters) - About 150,000 Moroccans, chanting "suicide attacks lead to freedom," have poured through the streets of Rabat as protests against the war in Iraq flared again around the Muslim world.

In the first major demonstration to be approved by Moroccan authorities since the start of the war, protesters accused the United States, Britain and Israel of plotting to control Iraq before attacking other Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Skirmishes broke out between police and protesters, with one policeman reported to have been seriously hurt. Police dispersed the march ahead of schedule as tension rose.

An Iraqi army officer killed four U.S. soldiers in a suicide bombing on Saturday, the first such incident of the war.

Earlier on Sunday, more than 100,000 Indonesians jammed the streets of Jakarta shouting anti-American slogans, and 200 foreigners in Beijing rallied in China's first government-approved protest over the conflict.

An estimated 150,000 people marched in India's biggest anti-war protest yet in the eastern city of Calcutta and burned several effigies of U.S. President George W. Bush.

In Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in the war against terror but strongly opposed to the attack on Iraq, some 100,000 demonstrators -- mainly supporters of right-wing Islamic parties -- turned out in the northern city of Peshawar.

Donkey carts pulled along two dogs in cages carrying the name tags of Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in the country's biggest anti-U.S. protest in years.

Elsewhere in Asia, up to 50,000 people demonstrated at the Bangladeshi town of Cox's Bazar, while 10,000 South Korean workers vented their feelings in Seoul.

BRAZILIANS JOIN PEACE CHORUS

In Brazil, thousands of people gathered on Sunday in the heart of Sao Paulo -- South America's largest city -- to rally in protest of the U.S.-led war.

The demonstration in Ibirapuera park -- attended by many high-ranking members of the new center-left administration -- was just the latest protest against the war in Brazil, whose government has condemned the war in Iraq.

"Peace is something that is in our genetic code, in the hearts of Brazilians," Gilberto Gil, one of Brazil's most popular musicians and the country's minister of culture, told thousands of people waving white flags with the word "peace."

"No one has any sympathy for the dictator Saddam Hussein, but we are absolutely against the disgrace that this war has been and vehemently condemn the armed attack without the authorization of the U.N. Security Council," said Marta Suplicy, the mayor of Sao Paulo.

In Spain, thousands marched in heavy rain to Torrejon airbase some 13 miles from Madrid, which is used by the U.S. military, in protest at Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's staunch support for the war

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, demonstrators shouted "America, America: terrorist, terrorist" as they brought traffic to a complete halt on Jakarta's main 10-lane avenue.

The crowd initially gathered near the British Embassy before marching to the heavily fortified U.S. mission.

While most were Muslims, they were joined by Christians carrying banners quoting Pope John Paul, who has several times called for an end to the war.

Some protesters had enlarged photographs of Iraqi civilian victims around their necks. One wore a monkey suit with a sign reading "Bush: war criminal."

CHINESE WARY OF PROTESTS

In Beijing, demonstrating foreigners shouted slogans as they marched past the U.S. Embassy, but a strong police presence quickly stymied protests by Chinese.

Police ordered some 100 Chinese students to surrender banners. They also led away about 10 Chinese teenage punk rockers sporting combat boots and mohawk hair-dos after they raised signs reading "Wanted: George W. Bush".

The Chinese attempts at protest reflected public discontent over a war opposed by the Communist government. But allowing only foreigners to protest showed Beijing's wariness of straining ties with the United States.

In India, uniformed firemen, schoolchildren, teachers, and businessmen joined tens of thousands of Communist Party workers in a march through Calcutta.

Mohammad Nasim, 14, told Reuters, "I see no reason for this war where innocent people are being killed. Where are the weapons of mass destruction America was talking about? Bush should tell us."

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