A GROUP of black-clad women held a silent vigil for peace in the heart of York today.

The women, part of a movement called Women In Black, were taking part in an international protest against war in Iraq and highlighting International Women's Day.

Similar protests were taking place in Scotland, Wales, Israel, Palestine, Italy and the USA.

York spokeswoman Laura Potts said: "Women In Black is committed to looking at violence in society and how it affects women. This is not divisible from war. History has shown it is women who suffer disproportionately from the effects of war."

Black is worn to "show solidarity", Laura said, and because it is a recognised symbol of mourning.

Updated: 12:45 Saturday, March 08, 2003