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We derive the general form of the anomaly for chiral spinors and self-dual antisymmetric tensors living on D-brane and O-plane intersections, using both path-integral and index theorem methods. We then show that the anomalous couplings to RR forms of D-branes and O-planes in a general background are precisely those required to cancel these anomalies through the inflow mechanism. This allows, for instance, for local anomaly cancellation in generic orientifold models, the relevant Green-Schwarz term being given by the sum of the anomalous couplings of all the D-branes and O-planes in the model. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.