Italy starts pulling troops out of Iraq

ROME, June 14: Italy began on Wednesday a further reduction of its troop strength in Iraq, which will be down to 1,600 men by the end of June, the military high command said.

Spokesman Colonel Roberto Tomsi said that the last few hundred troops of the Sassari Brigade were on their way back to Italy, leaving only the Garibaldi Brigade in Iraq.

The whole of the Italian contingent, once the fourth largest in Iraq, will be pulled out by the end of the year in line with a pledge by new prime minister Romano Prodi.

Prodi’s predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi had sent some 3,200 men to the southern Nasiriyah region. —AFP

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