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Zara withdraws swastika handbags

19 September 07 12:20 GMT

The fashion chain Zara has withdrawn a handbag from its stores after a customer pointed out that the design featured swastikas.

Zara said the bag came from an external supplier and the symbol had not been visible when it was selected.

A customer who returned the bag to the shop when she noticed the symbol said staff had been "shocked" to see it.

As well as being the Nazi symbol, the swastika is also a religious symbol for Hindus and Buddhists.

The customer, Rachel Hatton, said, "I was quite shocked - I took it back to the shop."

"Then obviously the shop assistants were quite shocked as well to find out this symbol was on there - it was not something that they'd noticed either straight away," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Had the symbol been seen we would not have sourced that particular handbag," said Zara spokesperson Susan Suett.

"As a precaution we've obviously taken the decision to immediately withdraw the item from sale on being informed of this particular bit of information," she added.

Zara is owned by the Spanish company Inditex.

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