Romanian troops withdraw from Iraq

Associated Press / June 5, 2009
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BAGHDAD - Romania's small military contingent ended its deployment in Iraq yesterday, reducing the US-led coalition to three countries. In Iraq's north, another US soldier died in combat.

The alliance that once included nearly 40 countries has been whittled down as the Americans themselves prepare for a full withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011.

Aside from the United States, the remaining troops come from Britain and Australia.

The United States has nearly 140,000 troops stationed in Iraq, according to its military.

In violence yesterday, a US soldier was killed in a grenade attack during a patrol in the disputed northern city of Kirkuk, the military said.

A suicide car bomber also targeted a security convoy in Mosul, killing at least one bystander and wounding 16, according to police.

The 366-member Romanian force was among a handful of foreign troops who remained in Iraq after the new security pact took effect Jan. 1 to replace the UN mandate that governed the presence of the US-led coalition in Iraq.

Australia has announced it will formally end its military mission at the end of July. Britain has pulled out most of its troops, but is leaving about 400 behind for training and support missions, mainly to defend oil platforms in the Gulf.