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Partners:
  Tomato Hits P.M. Blair in Protest

The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2001; 10:39 a.m. EST

BRISTOL, England –– Prime Minister Tony Blair was hit by a tomato Tuesday as he encountered a group protesting the sanctions the United Nations imposes on Iraq.

"How many Iraqi children have you killed?" a protester shouted as Blair arrived at City of Bristol College. Protesters were throwing oranges and other fruit, but only the tomato was seen hitting the prime minister.

Two women and a man were arrested, Avon and Somerset police said, but they were not immediately identified.

Blair carried on with the engagement. A stain on the shoulder of his jacket was the only apparent damage.

Later, in a question-and-answer session with party members and business executives, Blair defended Britain's policy of helping enforce the U.N. sanctions against Iraq. He said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had committed an act of "barbarism" by invading Kuwait, would be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction and had to be contained.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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