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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ukraine's Troops to Begin Departing Iraq

12 March 2005

Ukraine's defense ministry says it will begin a three-stage withdrawal of its troops from Iraq next week.

The Interfax news agency reported Saturday that 150 soldiers will leave Iraq on Tuesday.  It says two more withdrawals scheduled for May and October will end Ukraine's military presence in Iraq.

The Iraq war has been unpopular in Ukraine, and new president Victor Yushchenko had promised to bring Ukraine's 1,650 troops home if he was elected.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria says U.S. forces have admitted responsibility for the "friendly-fire" death of a Bulgarian soldier in southern Iraq a week ago.

The Bulgarian defense ministry said the U.S. military said the shooting was "unintentional" but that U.S. troops failed to carefully identify the target and opened fire without warning shots.  There was no immediate confirmation from the U.S. military.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.

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