FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) _ A minister led a group of about 50 protesters today who gathered at the gate of Fort Hood to press the Pentagon to stop using women soldiers in the Persian Gulf.

The Rev. W.N. Otwell of Fort Worth said he has planned protests at a number of military installations in Texas to oppose using mothers in combat areas.

Fort Hood spokeswoman Liz Crossan said about 50 people, including women and children, participated in the hour-long demonstration at the post's main gate. The protesters were asked to leave after they moved just inside the main gate shortly after 7:30 a.m., said Ms. Crossan.

Bell County deputies and state troopers were at the scene, but there were no arrests, she said.

Fort spokesman Lindsey R. Neas said under defense department policy, women are not assigned to front-line units. But they may be assigned to support units that are near combat areas and could therefore be at risk, he said.