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Italy Announces Troop Withdrawal From Iraq


8 July 2005 -- Two countries purportedly threatened by an Islamic terrorist group responded defiantly today.

A group calling itself "Al-Qaeda of Jihad in Europe" posted a letter online claiming responsibility for yesterday's bombings in London. The letter demanded that Denmark and Italy withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said today that Italy plans to withdraw 300 of its 3,000 soldiers from Iraq in September. But he said the plan could change depending on security conditions and will not be hastened because of threats.

The office of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a statement saying that terrorists use fear as a form of blackmail. He said, "We will never give in to terrorists."

Poland, Australia, and Japan also reaffirmed today their commitments to retain military units in Iraq.

(Reuters/AP)
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