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Last Updated: Friday, 19 August 2005, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Anti-war Sheehan quits Texas camp
Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan's protest has become a lightning rod for debate
A bereaved mother who has been protesting outside President Bush's Texas ranch has left because her mother has had a stroke.

Cindy Sheehan went to Los Angeles to visit her, but said she will return "as soon as possible if it is possible".

She has demanded Mr Bush withdraws US troops from Iraq. Her eldest son, Casey, was killed in action in 2004.

Ms Sheehan had pledged to stay in Crawford throughout Mr Bush's summer holiday until he agreed to meet her.

Her supporters said she hoped to return in the next 24 to 48 hours, depending on her mother's condition, Reuters news agency reported.

"There is no doubt about this with Cindy - she started the movement, she'll finish the movement," said Ann Wright, who manages the camp's operations.

Ms Sheehan has become a focus for anti-war sentiment since her protest began in Crawford on 6 August.

About 100 anti-war activists have joined her at the site and more than 1,000 vigils were held around the US in support of Ms Sheehan on Wednesday night.

The president has so far refused to meet Mrs Sheehan, although he says he has given her plea for troop withdrawal serious consideration.

White House officials have pointed out that Mrs Sheehan met the president on a previous occasion, and made her views known on that occasion.

Watch the protesters outside President Bush's Texas ranch

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