• Kyodo

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A Hiroshima-based citizens group presented Angola with a stone from the city Friday, part of its efforts to promote global peace.

The group said it took the stone, engraved with an image of a woman praying for peace, from an area about 200 meters from ground zero, the spot where the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima toward the end of World War II.

A mission of the Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima gave the Peace Stone to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. In April 2002, Angola ended a 27-year civil war that began after it won independence from Portugal in 1975. The mission is being led by Kazuyuki Yoshihisa.

The association, headed by Michio Umemoto, presented another of the granite stones to Zambia when the mission visited President Levy Mwanawasa on Tuesday in the capital city Lusaka.

The stone is one of 200 tramway paving stones donated by Hiroshima Electric Railway Co. that were apparently exposed to radiation from the bomb in August 1945. The blast killed about 140,000 people.

About 10,000 Hiroshima residents helped engrave images onto and polish the stones, each of which measures 50 sq. cm and weighs about 50 kg.

The nonprofit organization has donated the stones to leaders of various countries to share its desire for peace since 1991, with 95 countries either accepting or expressingreadiness to accept them, according to the group.

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