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Slovak Premier Says Iraq Troop Withdrawal Complete

January 27, 2007 -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico says nearly all of the roughly 100 soldiers his country had in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition have left as part of a planned withdrawal.

The Slovak contingent was mostly focused on dismantling land mines, and served under Polish command in the Hillah area, south of Baghdad.

The departing troops are in Kuwait to prepare weapons and equipment for transport back to Slovakia, AP reported.

Eleven Slovak servicemen will remain in Iraq to serve at coalition headquarters and to help NATO efforts to train Iraq's military, according to Slovak Defense Minister Frantisek Kasicky.

Four Slovak soldiers have died in Iraq since that country deployed troops there in 2003 as part of the international coalition to oust Saddam Hussein.

(AP, idnes.cz)

Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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