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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Military bears are 'insensitive'
An RAF Lakenheath teddy bear
RAF Lakenheath said the bears were an act of charity
A project to provide children in Iraq with teddy bears has been criticised by peace campaigners, as the toys are made from military uniforms.

Volunteers at the US RAF Lakenheath base in Suffolk have been producing the soft toys from old and torn uniforms which were found in an attic.

But campaigners Suffolk 4 Peace have said the scheme is insensitive and could traumatise the Iraqi children.

A US Air Force spokesman said they were only trying to do the right thing.

Lieutenant Jason McCree told BBC Radio Suffolk it was an act of charity.

Inappropriate material

"We feel that we are doing the right thing because we're trying to give to people who may not have the opportunity to have amenities other people have," he said.

Annie Wimbush, of Suffolk 4 Peace, said the material being used was inappropriate.

"The camouflage material, the uniform material that's being used could in fact trigger trauma symptoms in a child as well as relieve them," she said.

The old uniforms are also used to make blankets for homeless people in Suffolk, Norfolk and London.

The East's peace keepers in Iraq
13 Apr 04  |  Norfolk
New homes plan for air base staff
09 Apr 04  |  Suffolk

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