US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said prompt action will be taken if allegations that US soldiers desecrated the Koran at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba are proved to be correct.

Dr Rice appealed to Muslims around the world to resist calls for violence after at least seven deaths in three days of protests over the issue in Afghanistan.

The US authorities say they are investigating the allegations concerning the desecration.

Dr Rice called such an act of disrespect 'abhorrent' and promised it would not be tolerated.