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Brown: British Troops to Leave Iraq Mid-2009


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says British troops will complete their mission in Iraq by May 31st, 2009 -- and will leave the country by the end of July.

Mr. Brown and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made a joint statement in Baghdad Wednesdayafter a previously unannounced meeting between the two leaders.The prime ministers said their countries' partnership will "take on new dimensions" after British forces leave. Britain now has about 41-hundred troops in Iraq.

Bulgaria's last 155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home Wednesday. And U.S. military officials say Lithuania officially brought its mission in Iraq to an end on the same day. In violence Wednesday, Iraqi police say a double-bombing near a traffic police station in central Baghdad has killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50 others.

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