Pro and anti: the protests mount

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The Independent Online

Protests were mounting across the Mulsim world today, both against and for imminent action by the US-led coalition.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, more than 1,000 protesters burned US flags and an effigy of President George W Bush outside the US Embassy in Jakarta. Many American diplomats and their families are leaving the country, even though its government supports Washington's war against terrorism.

The embassy said: "The Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure of all US government personnel in non-emergency positions and family members in Indonesia."

In neighboring Malaysia, about 25 Islamic students protested outside the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

But in Pakistan, rallies were being staged across the country to express support for the international campaign, much to the relief of a Christian underclass that is living in growing fear for its safety.

Meanwhile, the Taliban leaders is calling on Afghans who fled to Pakistan to return to help their regime's fight against the coalition. And thousands of religious students across Pakistan are preparing to aid the Taliban's holy war.