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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Troop families make anti-war call
A British soldier in Iraq
Anti-war families say their soldiers did not sign up for an illegal war
Families of some of the British troops serving in Iraq are launching a campaign to bring them home.

It is the first time such a call has been made by families of troops still on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the Military Families Against the War group are addressing an anti-war rally in London on Saturday.

They plan to give their petition on withdrawing troops to Tony Blair. But other army families say they are proud of what the soldiers are doing.

Based on lies

The Stop The War Coalition, which is holding its annual conference, says a growing number of relatives of troops killed or injured in Iraq are backing their campaign.

But the new group represents the families of serving soldiers.

Linda King, whose son is serving in Iraq, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm very proud of what my son has signed up to do, although this is an illegal war."

She claimed the war had been founded on a "body of lies".

"It needs to be addressed and sorted and a scheduled timetable needs to be put in place for bringing these troops out of Iraq with dignity and honour," said Mrs King.

She said her son was happy for her to do what she thought was right - and like other troops he wanted to return from Iraq.

'Professional soldiers'

Pauline Hickey whose son Sergeant Christian Hickey, died in a bomb attack in Basra last year, said she could have accepted his death more easily if it had been a "legal war".

"The armed forces are not able to say where they go - it's the government that sends them, but that's all the more reason that the reasons should be the right reasons," she said.

Military chiefs were given explicit assurances by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, the UK's law officer, that the war was lawful.

Sammie Crane, chairman of the Army Families Federation, said the anti-war relatives were entitled to their opinions.

But she argued: "Over the last two years what families have said to me is that they are proud of their soldier.

"They are aware they are professionals, they are not volunteers. They value what their soldiers are doing."

Tony Blair this week said British troops should remain in Iraq to ensure terrorism was defeated and to help the Iraqis build democracy and stability.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
A mother of a soldier in Iraq explains her anti-war feelings



SEE ALSO:
Demonstrating bias?
24 Mar 06 |  Notes
Thousands join anti-war protest
18 Mar 06 |  London


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