Protestors throw objects at Blair before Dublin book signing

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Angry protestors threw objects at Britain's former prime minister Tony Blair as he arrived at the first public signing session to promote his memoirs Saturday in the Irish capital Dublin.

Around 200 noisy protestors had gathered for the event and witnesses said plastic bottles were thrown at him as his motorcade arrived, although did not land near him.

Media reports suggested that shoes and eggs were also hurled in his direction.

As Blair pulled up, protestors also surged towards him and tried to push down a security barrier but were swiftly repelled by police and some demonstrators were led away.

The protestors, who included anti-war activists angry at his role in the Iraq war and pro-Palestinian campaigners, waved placards with slogans such as "Blair lied, millions died" and "Lock him up for genocide" and chanted amid a heavy police presence.

Blair is making an appearance at a bookshop in Dublin to promote his book "A Journey", which was released earlier this week.

Part of Dublin's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, where the shop is located, was sealed off and access to the bookshop was being tightly controlled.

Dozens of people braved pouring rain to queue at the back entrance to the store in the hope of getting their book signed by Blair.

In his first live television interview promoting the book on Friday he brushed off the opposition he faces from anti-war campaigners for leading Britain alongside the United States into the 2003 Iraq war.

"One of the first things that you learn in politics is that those who shout most don't deserve necessarily to be listened to most.

"Everyone should be listened to equally, irrespective of the volume of noise," he told Irish state television RTE.

Despite continuing controversy over his role in the Iraq conflict, Blair is also particularly hailed in Ireland for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

Blair and his then Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern negotiated the 1997 Good Friday Peace agreement that ended decades of violence in British-ruled Northern Ireland and led to the creation of a power-sharing administration in Belfast.

Blair is due to hold another book signing in London next week which anti-war protestors have also said they will target.

© 2010 AFP

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