ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners held a 30 minute vigil in Bolton.

More than 20 campaigners congregated in silence around the war memorial in Victoria Square at the weekend in memory of those killed by nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of the Second World War.

Malcolm Pittock, of the Bolton Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "Both the US and Britain have always tried to justify these terrible crimes, but if these acts can be justified then all war crimes and acts of terror are potentially justifiable."

Mr Pittock, aged 76, from Breightmet, who has been a member of the CND for 50 years, added "We want a peaceful world. No civilised country should base any part of its defence policy on a threat to commit nuclear terrorism."

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed on August 6 and August 9 in 1945.

Around 45,000 of Hiroshima's 300,000 residents died on the day of the bombing. By December, another 45,000 had died from radiation-linked illnesses.

In Nagasaki, around 40,000 people had died by the end of the year.

Victims of radiation-caused leukaemia eventually took the combined death toll to 200,000.

The bombings brought about an end to the war in the Far East.