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Anger grows in Arab World

Egyptian protesters confronted police in Cairo on Friday.

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CAIRO, Egypt -- Thousands of Arabs seething with anger at the U.S.-led bombing of Iraq protested for a third day on Saturday, amid concern the demonstrations could threaten stability in the volatile region.

In Egypt, the region's most populous country with almost 70 million people, thousands of students staged anti-war rallies at universities amid tight police security.

But unlike the past two days, there were no initial reports of violence or clashes with police.

On Friday, thousands of riot police moved from street to street in Cairo, racing against a wave of angry anti-war protesters headed to the U.S. Embassy and the Arab League headquarters.

Police cordoned off most of the central area of the city, turning the main centers of the usually busy city into a virtual ghost town.

The protesters, numbering in the tens of thousands, pelted police with rocks and vowed to burn down the U.S. Embassy and kick out the ambassador. Police, flanked by dogs, responded by firing water cannons.

Plainclothes police carrying wooden or metal batons were seen beating several protesters. A number of police and protesters were injured.

The crowd condemned Arab governments for "cowardice" for not taking a stand against the war in Iraq.

In the conservative Gulf Arab sultanate of Oman, where protests are rare, hundreds of demonstrators gathered Saturday chanting: "Bush and Blair are war criminals," and "Stop the war now!"

In Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, protests also continued, and the U.S. embassy stayed closed Saturday after hundreds scuffled with police outside the fortified building.

Police in Yemen's capital, San'a, opened fire on antiwar protesters Friday, killing four, witnesses said.

The police began shooting after tear gas failed to disperse a crowd of about 2,000 people who gathered around the U.S. Embassy after Friday prayers to demonstrate against the war. Protests were reported in other Yemeni cities as well.

In Amman, Jordan, police used tear gas against more than 10,000 people demonstrating against the war in a rally led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The group pledged to fight the United States and support the war in Iraq.

Protests also were reported in Beirut, Lebanon, where crowds gathered in front of the Kuwaiti, Qatari, U.S., and British embassies.

From the West Bank in Gaza, television coverage showed thousands of Palestinians, including numerous political figures, demonstrating in support of the Iraqi people.

Amr Moussa, the head of the 22-member Arab League, said "no Arab with any remnant of conscience can tolerate" the bombing of

Baghdad, once the proud capital of the Islamic world.

"The bombing and violence we're seeing on satellite TV should stir the ire of every Arab who sees it," said the secretary-general, who has warned a war against Iraq could "open the gates of hell" in the Middle East.

-- CNN Correspondent Caroline Faraj contributed to this report.

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