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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Protest mother back at Bush ranch
An anti-war protester hugs Cindy Sheehan as she returns to a camp near US President George W. Bush's ranch
Sheehan's protest has prompted peace vigils across the US
A mother whose son died while serving in Iraq has resumed her protest outside President George W Bush's Texas ranch.

The Californian woman had to interrupt her anti-war campaign six days ago to look after her elderly mother after she suffered a stroke.

Cindy Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey was killed in action in 2004, started her protest on 6 August.

She has vowed to stay put during Mr Bush's month-long holiday there and hopes he will meet her.

Ms Sheehan returned to the camp near Crawford just hours before the president, who earlier this week made impassioned speeches on the importance of the war on terror.

Speaking in Idaho on Wednesday, he rejected calls by anti-war protesters for a withdrawal from Iraq, saying that it would only embolden the terrorists.

On Monday, he addressed war veterans in Salt Lake City, Utah, vowing the US would "stay the course" in Iraq.

Growing scepticism

Ms Sheehan, who reportedly broke down in tears after spotting a large banner with her son's face at the camp when she arrived there, is determined to continue her struggle.

"Even when I was in California, half of me was always here," she said.

About a dozen protesters have continued the vigil in her absence.

Her arguments have sparked a heated controversy, and supporters of the war from California are on their way to Crawford to launch a tour called "You don't speak for me, Cindy!".

Recent opinion polls suggest more than 50% of Americans think the Iraq conflict is going badly.

Most also believe some or all US troops should be withdrawn from Iraq.

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