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Bush Urges Governments To Help Calm Muslim Anger

Afghan protestors chanted anti-Danish slogans in Kabul today (epa) 8 February 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush today urged governments to quell violent protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as unrest continued in the Middle East and spread as far as Georgia.

The cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper and then reprinted in other European newspapers, have sparked daily protests in the Middle East and Asia. Depictions of Muhammad are deemed blasphemous by Muslims.

Bush, at a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, today urged governments in countries where protests are being held to intervene.

"I call upon the governments around the world to stop the violence, to be respectful, to protect property [and] to protect the lives of innocent diplomats who are serving their countries overseas," the U.S. president said.

Bush added that Americans reject violence as a way to express discontent with what gets printed in a free press.

Reports Of Protests In Georgia

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, added its voice today and called for an end to the violence over the caricatures.

But in Afghanistan, four people were killed today in a continuing wave of protests over the cartoons. Four people were also killed during similar violence in that country yesterday.

There were also reports from Georgia of protests against the cartoons. The demonstrations were staged by several hundred residents of Marneuli, in the Kvemo Kartli region, which has a large ethnic Azerbaijani population.

In the Iranian capital, Tehran, demonstrators pelted the British Embassy with stones and crowds smashed several windows. In the West Bank city of Hebron, demonstrators attacked an international observer mission to protest over the cartoons.

(compiled from agency reports)