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Last Filipino Troops Leave Iraq

19 July 2004 -- The Philippines government today said that the last of its 51 troops in Iraq have left the country, Foreign Secretary Delia Albert said.

Officials had earlier said the troops would travel by road to Kuwait from where they will take a plane home.

The Philippines began withdrawing its soldiers in Iraq last week after militants holding a Filipino hostage threatened to execute him unless Filipino troops left Iraq.

Some allies have sharply criticized the move, saying it will only encourage more kidnappings.