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via BBC News

US presidential hopeful Herman Cain has said he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination.

He blamed political and media pressure on his family in the wake of “false” allegations of sexual harassment and a 13-year-long extra-marital affair.

“I am not going to be silenced and I’m not going away,” he told supporters in his home city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Next month, voters in Iowa will begin the process of choosing a Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

Mr Cain said the allegations against him had taken a toll on his family, but added: “I am at peace.”

“I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family,” he told supporters at what had been billed as the opening of his campaign headquarters.

“These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family,” he said.

He said he would endorse another candidate at a later date but gave no hint of where he would direct his supporters to go.

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