A chanting crowd of about 1,000, including leftists, Filipino Moslems and a few men from Middle East countries, demonstrated in front of the U.S. Embassy today to protest Tuesday's air strikes on Libya.
Waving posters reading "Reagan is the real mad dog" and "Qaddafi is our hero," they recited Moslem prayers, burned effigies and cheered anti-American speeches.
During a march to the embassy, members of the group reportedly beat five persons, including a Canadian who was mistaken for an American. At the end of the rally it dispersed peacefully.
"If the U.S. can do it to Libya, it can do it to the Philippines," a speaker told the crowd through a sound truck. "Qaddafi refuses to follow U.S. orders, so the Americans are looking for trouble."
The protest took place alongside a now four-day old demonstration at the embassy by several thousand people loyal to deposed president Ferdinand Marcos. They contend that Marcos, who is now living in Honolulu, was kidnaped by the United States.
Men from Middle East countries, many of them Iranians, dotted the crowd protesting the attack on Libya and occasionally took up microphones to lead cheers.
Earlier this week, following the attack on Libya, U.S. officials expressed concern to Philippine authorities that police protection outside the embassy was insufficient. For today's protest, U.S. officials closed the consular section and stationed more guards inside the compound.
Police increased their force outside the embassy to about 500 officers.