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Italian Troops Leave Iraq


http://gdb.rferl.org/005fa955-628f-482c-a739-038a0f2e55f4_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/005fa955-628f-482c-a739-038a0f2e55f4_mw800_mh600.jpg Italian troops in Iraq (file photo) (AFP) December 1, 2006 -- The last Italian troops left Iraq today, a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Iraqi forces will be ready to take over security in the country by June 2007.

Meanwhile, violence continued in and around the capital, Baghdad, with U.S. and Iraqi troops clashing with militants and at least two deadly bomb attacks.

Iraq's Interior Ministry today released statistics that show a leap in civilians killed in violence in November from an already record level in October.

In other developments, Iraqi Shi'ite leader Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim is scheduled to travel to the United States on December 4 for talks with U.S. President George W. Bush.

Al-Hakim heads the influential Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which plays a key role of Iraq's ruling coalition. Talks are to focus on finding ways to stop the violence in Iraq.

(AFP, Reuters)
The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)


THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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