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Bin Laden masks become popular Halloween icon

This story originally appeared on the Ananova site 10/30/01.

Osama bin Laden masks are being worn at Halloween celebrations around the world.

One Mexican company is offering a full-length costume of bin Laden for 23, including a hand-painted rubber mask of the bearded Saudi exile.

One of the popular Osama bin Laden masks (AP)

"For us, the masks are not offensive," said a saleswoman for one costume company. "It's all done with Mexican humour, as a joke."

The company is not exporting the masks to its neighbour to the north, however.

In Northern Ireland costume shops report a brisk business in Arab-style costumes. Some shops said bin Laden masks were their most requested item, with George Bush masks trailing well behind.

Most costume shops in Northern Ireland are selling generic Middle Eastern garb, such as turbans, robes and beards.

"It's hard to have a drink in a bin Laden mask," said James Elliott, owner of a costume shop in Belfast. "But we've had lots of requests for the Arab outfit."

In Brazil, bin Laden masks were being marketed for the increasingly popular Halloween holiday.

One store in Rio de Janeiro, said that Bin Laden masks were by far the season's most popular costume - outselling Yasser Arafat and George Bush masks by about 20 to 1.

Story filed: 09:27 Tuesday 30th October 2001



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