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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 08:44 GMT
U2 halt world tour after illness
U2 have played in North America, Europe and South America
U2 have postponed the final 10 dates of their world tour because a close relative of a band member is ill.

Concerts in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, due to have taken place over the next month, were called off as a result. The ill relative was not named.

"Any fan of U2 will realise that this decision has not been taken lightly," said tour promoter Arthur Fogel.

The Irish band have already played concerts in North America, Europe and South America as part of the tour.

'Unavoidable' decision

Mr Fogel said the postponement was "unavoidable" and that details of any rescheduled dates would be announced "as soon as we have them".

The affected shows included dates in Sydney and Melbourne as part of U2's first Australian concerts in eight years.

They were then due to play in Yokohama and Honolulu, Hawaii, in April.

Led by singer and activist Bono, the four-piece band won five Grammy awards, including the album of the year prize for How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

They were subsequently named Ambassadors of Conscience by human rights group Amnesty International at a ceremony in Chile.

Bono's father, Bob Hewson, died of cancer during U2's last world tour in 2001.

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