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Violence as anti-U.S. protests continue in Asia

On Monday, anti-U.S. protestors went on the rampage in the city of Quetta
On Monday, anti-U.S. protestors went on the rampage in the city of Quetta  

(CNN) -- Anti-U.S. rallies around Asia are becoming increasingly violent with five people reported killed and others injured during demonstrations since the U.S.-led attacks began on Afghanistan.

There were anti-U.S. rallies held in Indonesia, India and Bangladesh, on Tuesday but most international attention is on Pakistan where officials there say they have the situation under control.

Pakistani authorities are monitoring further fallout on the streets Wednesday, most notably in border towns near Afghanistan where traditionally there is the most support and sympathy for the Taliban and for Osama bin Laden.

Five protesters have been killed during demonstrations in the past two days in the country, but officials are stressing that the protests are deteriorating in size.

Three were shot dead on Tuesday by Pakistani police during a rally in the town of Kuchlak near the Afghan border where more than 1,000 protesters gathered and burned down a police station, attacked a police official and looted a post office.

Police are under orders to use live rounds if they feel they have to fire in self-defense.

Authorities have barred all protesters from entering major cities but for the moment believe they have situation under control.

In a bid to reduce further violence and protests, authorities have arrested three Islamic leaders including Maulana Fazal-ur Rehman, leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party.

Several Islamic clerics have called on Muslims in Pakistan and across the world to rise in jihad, or holy war, against the U.S.-led attacks.

Indonesian police open fire

Police fired warning shots to disperse protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta
Police fired warning shots to disperse protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta  

In Indonesia, around 300 students burned a U.S. flag and an effigy of President George W. Bush on Wednesday near the U.N. office in Jakarta.

The students, yelling anti-U.S. slogans, said they would march to the nearby U.S. Embassy, the scene of violence Tuesday when police fired tear gas, warning shots and used water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters.

The protest began after midday prayers, when around 400 people tried to break through a barbed-wire fence surrounding the embassy.

Security has been tightened throughout Jakarta. Army troops patrol streets and there is a strong security presence around many embassies and ambassador's residences.

The U.S. and British embassies have asked their nationals to remain at home until further security evaluations are completed.

Many international companies have begun to withdraw staff from Indonesia and several countries have issued travel warnings.

Some Islamic organizations, including Indonesia's largest militant group, the Jihad Army, have threatened to attack Americans as part of a "jihad" or holy war following the strikes.

The groups in Indonesia say they have a list of 2,000 Americans and have threatened "to sweep" them in retaliation for the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan.

The Indonesian government has called on the population to stay calm and says it will not tolerate any violence towards foreign nationals.

Bangladeshi, Indian protests

There were also protests in Bangladesh, another mostly Muslim country, where more than a thousand activists from an Islamic party took to the streets to voice their anger following the strikes on targets in Afghanistan.

They waved portraits of bin Laden and burned American flags and an effigy of President Bush.

Security has been tightened around western diplomatic missions in the capital, Dhaka.

In India, demonstrators gathered in the streets of Kolkata, the city formerly known as Calcutta.

Around 1,000 members of the Socialist Unity Centre of India gathered to protest the U.S. led strikes.


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